Cycle Commuter issue 7
The Autumn/Winter 2011 edition of Cyclescheme's magazine for cycle commuters. News, kit, techniques, tips and more!
Bike reviews l Essential kit l Secure your bike l Stay safe Autumn/Winter 2011 Issue #7 ÂŁ1.95 where sold Ride with pride The best bikes for the perfect commute Save up to 42% on a new bike & kit See example packages and ideas inside GET A BIKE! Save money, beat the jams and stay in shape Inside this issue... Helmets Lights Jackets High-visibility kit Locks 71 Featuring top cycling products Go with the ﬂow or choose the adventurous route. Seek’s sturdy, efﬁcient design encourages you to do both. Featuring a lightweight, tough ALUXX aluminium frame Seek is a fast city bike that can take some bruises. Stable mountain bike positioning, powerful disc brakes, fast rolling puncture resistant tyres and reﬂective styling, get to work quick, whatever the streets have to offer. Learn more at www.giant-bicycles.co.uk contents Issue #7 Autumn/Winter 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 6 How the Cycle to Work Scheme will save you money Why getting a bike through your employer makes a whole lot of sense Features 20 F lyaway success 24 34 How setting up a Cycle to Work scheme led to bigger things for GE Aviation 30 S ecure your bike The right way to keep your bike safe from thieves 46 52 24 Charge Plug Grinder 34 Dawes Discovery 301 46 Marin Terra Linda 52 Merida Road Ride 91 A simple and effortlessly cool steel singlespeed that’s perfect for all kinds of urban riding Part road bike, part hybrid, this women’s-specific option offers comfort, practicality and speed This hybrid blends strength and durability with plenty of comfort whether you’re riding on roads or trails A sporty road bike that you can use for commuting and for long rides in the country at the weekend 40 Inside Brompton Behind the scenes at the British folding bike brand Top products & essential kit 15 Out of the ordinary… Check out the Pashley Tri-1 tricycle 16 Stuff The best gear for your commute and beyond 28 Helmets Stylish head protection for every budget 38 Lights Make sure you’re seen at night 50 Waterproofs 60 My life on bikes: Gabby Logan The TV presenter reveals her love for keeping fit on two wheels Eight ways to keep the rain out 57 High-visibility kit The best choices for getting seen 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 www.cyclescheme.co.uk 3 Web: cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk Tel: 01202 732288 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 1,800+ 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. Cyclescheme has partnered with over 1,840+ 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 for Transport, Office of Fair Trading and Department of Health, as well as scores of police forces, councils, universities You Want to take part? Great! If you’ve need to be a UK taxpayer via the PAYE system You need to be 18 years of age or over to comply received this mag from your and blue chip companies. with Consumer Credit wAct legislation employer then they’re probably Hire agreements are written 16 to 18 year olds may be eligible for Cyclescheme already running a scheme, so entirely in accordance with enrollment with the aid of a guarantor things should be straightforward. government guidelines If your earnings are equivalent to the national There are some limits as to and this service is free to minimum wage, you may be able to benefit who can take advantage of the employers, including an from a discount as part of a net arrangement with tax breaks, though. The most online tool to generate your employer important ones are: promotional literature. Who’s it for? •• • • www.cyclescheme.co.uk 5 Autumn/Winter 2011 How the cycle to work scheme will Why getting a bike through your employer makes a whole lot of sense… 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 income tax or National Insurance (NI) has been deducted, so you pay less tax and NI. This results in savings of up to 42%. 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. Here’s how it works… Once your employer has set up a programme with Cyclescheme, you choose a bike and any safety equipment from one of 1,840+ independent bicycle dealers throughout the UK (go to www.cyclescheme.co.uk to find your nearest Cyclescheme Partner 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… Maximise your savings! NO Send the bike back to Cyclescheme 6 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! Do you want to keep the bike that you have? YES! Here’s how to get the best possible saving at the end of the hire period... Saving money through Cyclescheme What happens next? The Government has 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% Cyclescheme’s market leading end of hire process ensures attractive savings for all participants. By following Cyclescheme’s recommended option (entering into an Extended Use Agreement at the end of the hire period, see flow chart below) your savings are protected. Example savings? We’ve put together the tables below to show you an example of the savings available for a basic rate tax payer using both a £500 and £1,000 example package. £500 example package Original value NI saving Tax saving Market value payment Total saving £500 £60 £100 £15 £145 £1000 example package Original value NI saving Tax saving Market value payment Total saving £1,000 £120 £200 £70 £250 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. You pay a small refundable deposit** and sign an Extended UseAgreement with zero payments The agreement ends after 36 months, when Cyclescheme may offer you ownership of the bike Do you still want to keep the bike? NO Send the bike back to Cyclescheme, the deposit will be refunded 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) Cyclescheme retain your deposit and confirm you as the owner of the bike. Enjoy using your bike! www.cyclescheme.co.uk 7 Autumn/Winter 2011 News Get free National Cycle Network app and maps L eading UK cycle charity Sustrans has introduced an improved online mapping facility and a new iPhone app, and continues to offer an information pack – all completely free. Whether you want to pick your way through an urban metropolis to work, wind through the countryside for leisure, or find a challenging ride, Sustrans’ extensive online mapping can show you the way. Significantly upgraded yet still free to use, the mapping is set against an Ordnance Survey background. You can explore all 13,000 miles of the National Cycle Network, plus other local routes and transport services, together with thousands of local amenities such as shops, sports centres and historic landmarks. More people than ever before are turning to the National Cycle Network as a means of getting around. The latest annual usage statistics from Sustrans show that 420 million walking and cycling journeys were made on the Network in 2010. Of all trips made by adults, 25% were commuting and work related – an increase of 10% from 2009 – highlighting the Network’s role as an everyday transport system. Register with Sustrans and you can plot and save up to 45 personalised routes 8 using the online mapping, then share them easily with colleagues or friends via email. Go to www.sustrans.org.uk for the details. If you have an iPhone, you’ll find ‘The Complete National Cycle Network’ app an indispensable travelling companion. Sustrans has created this handy travel tool from its online mapping facility. It features the whole National Cycle Network along with a further 12,000 miles of regional and local routes and links. Download it free at the iTunes store. If you’re looking for cycling inspiration, Sustrans will send you a free information pack that shows you great places to ride near you. As well as recommending routes in your area, the pack comes with helpful advice about choosing a bike, getting it ready for riding, keeping it in top condition, cycling with kids and more. Go to www.sustrans.org.uk to request your pack. And there’s a sat nav app for cyclists too If you want to know the best way of riding from A to B, the free Bike Hub app will guide you there using roads, cycle paths and bikefriendly shortcuts. The app, which is available for iPhones and Android phones, offers turn-by-turn navigation with spoken instructions and vibrating alerts to keep you on track. You can choose to go via the quickest route – although not dual carriageways or, obviously, motorways – or the quietest route, which will take you along back streets and cycle routes. There’s also a ‘balanced route’ which mixes the two. The app allows you to plan journeys using multiple waypoints and enables favourite routes to be saved. Other features include articles on the Cycle to Work scheme and the law as it relates to cycling. Go to bikehub.co.uk for the details. News Visit the Cyclescheme website Cycle Show gears up for NEC T he 2011 Cycle Show promises to be the best yet as it celebrates its 10th birthday with a move to a bigger venue at the NEC in Birmingham. The show – which runs from Friday, 30 September until Sunday, 2 October – covers all aspects of cycling and there’s plenty on offer specifically for bike commuters. You’ll get to see 2012 product launches from the world’s leading bike brands, and revamped and new interactive features for cyclists of all abilities. Plus the newlook Cycle Store has a greater selection of branded clothing, accessories and shoes to buy. The outdoor Road Bike Demo Track is designed specifically with road bikes and commuters in mind, giving you the opportunity to try the latest models, including folding and electric bikes, on Tarmac for that authentic experience. If you’re taking up cycle commuting for the first time or looking to upgrade your bike, you can get valuable advice and try out the different models. Another key feature is the Dare 2b Mountain Bike Demo Track which gives you the chance to check out the latest MTBs before they hit the shops and get some expert riding tips. There’s also a test track for 6-12 year olds with sessions run by fully qualified coaches from British Cycling, and a Kiddimoto Kids ’Test Track where undersixes can try out the latest pavement bikes. One of 2010's most popular features, the Cycle Arena, will be back bigger and better than before, with more celebrities and BMX displays. Look out for the useful Cytech demo workshops too. Sessions will cover puncture repair, gear and brake tuning, cleaning and lubricating your bike, the stuff that makes life a whole lot easier when you ride to work. There are even workshops specifically offering commuting tips. Adult tickets are £12.50 (£15.50 on the door), £10.50 (£13.50) with concessions. The ticket price is £6.50 (£8) for children aged 14 and under while kids aged five and under get in free. Family and group discount are available too. Visit www.cyclescheme.co.uk to find out how to purchase tickets at a special discounted price of £11. All the details are at www.cycleshow.co.uk. If you’ve not had the chance to check out the Cyclescheme website yet, go to www.cyclescheme.co.uk for straightforward information and advice on how to get your tax-free bike. Everything you need to know is explained clearly in one place. Make sure you check out our short video that shows you exactly how the system works and another that explains what happens at the end of hire process. You’ll be an expert in minutes. As well as going through every step of the process, the website explains: l How much money you can save l How many calories you will burn l How much you’ll reduce your carbon footprint Explore the Community section of the website to find out how to get the correct fit on your bike and how to go about simple maintenance tasks like fixing a puncture and adjusting your gears. Other articles will guide you through buying the best cycling accessories, such as gloves and pumps, and show you how getting a bike through Cyclescheme has had a positive impact on many people’s lives. Don’t forget to check back regularly for your chance to win prizes and get discounts on bike-related products, events and services. So head along to www.cyclescheme.co.uk now. www.cyclescheme.co.uk 9 Autumn/Winter 2011 Bike storage discount for employers Specialized launch new cycle commuting website M ajor bike brand Specialized has teamed up with a group of other industry experts to launch a new website that’s packed with information and advice for commuting by bike. The site – created with input from Cyclescheme, sustainable transport charity Sustrans, national cyclists’ organisation CTC and Ordnance Survey – is aimed at both new and returning cyclists, and it covers everything from the equipment you’ll need to security and creating and sharing routes using Ordnance Survey’s new ‘getamap’ planning tool. Specialized also offers simple-tofollow videos on aspects of basic bike maintenance like mending a flat tyre and fixing a dropped chain. You’ll learn easy techniques to get you back on the road quickly so you’re not late for work. The site includes: • The benefits of commuting by bike • How to get started ��� A guide to Specialized’s commuter bikes • Video maintenance guides • Answers to frequently asked questions Anne Immelman from Specialized 10 UK says of the new site, “We recognised that many people are looking for a complete, holistic resource online to help them make the right decisions around not just which bike is right for commuting, but also around rules of the road, planning a cycle route, getting fit, accessories and how to deal with weather and other eventualities unique to commuting by bike. By working with some of the leading organisations in the category, we are looking to simplify things for those who may be daunted by the prospect of commuting by bike for the first time. We’re delighted that CTC, CycleScheme, Ordnance Survey and Sustrans agreed to work with us on this.” Check it out at www.cyclingcommuter.co.uk. Cyclescheme has teamed up with two different specialists to offer discount to employers interested in practical cycle storage. Employers registered with Cyclescheme can benefit from a 10% price cut on all Cyclepods products. Cyclepods offer a range of stylish, space-saving, sustainable and secure bikeparking options. Unlike traditional racks, Cyclepods products provide an individual track for each bike, preventing overcrowding and bike damage. They can be installed cheaply and easily without the need for ground works, and they’re made from 100% recycled or recyclable materials. Go to www.cyclepods.co.uk to see the products and details of the offer. Bike storage experts Cycle-Works are offering Cyclescheme-registered employers 5% discount on their parking products. The range includes shelters, lockers, racks, multibike stores and lots more. Order 10 or more Velo-Safe lockers and you can get a company logo laser etched for free. See the full choice at www.cycle-works.com. Design, Technology, Transport www.merida.com for full range details and dealer locator Autumn/Winter 2011 London Cycling Campaign membership offer A s a Cycle Commuter reader, you can get three months’ free membership of London Cycling Campaign (LCC) and a free Trek bike computer worth £24. LCC has been campaigning for over 30 years, transforming London into a better city for cyclists. The organisation has been behind some of the capital’s most important cycling initiatives. Campaigning hard for facilities such as the Cycle Hire Scheme, LCC believes that it is essential that everyone has the opportunity to cycle, and is working closely with Transport for London on improving lorry safety on the city’s streets. LCC has played a big part in the growth of cycling in London, motivated by the need to improve public health, reduce congestion and road danger, and cut air and noise pollution. For just £32 you will get behind some of the most important campaigns for cyclists. Plus, LCC will provide you with an unbeatable package of benefits, helping to make every day you ride your bike a better one. Benefits include: Free liability insurance, free legal helpline, bimonthly cycling magazine, local cycling group membership, and support cycling campaigns. State that you’re a Cycle Commuter reader when you join and your 12 month membership will actually last 15 months! For more information visit www.lcc.org.uk. VERSATILE FRAME PANNIER MOUNTS FOR YOUR GEAR AND TOURING, THE JAKE IS ALSO READY FOR MUD GUARDS LIGHT & TOUGH WHEELS 700c, FAST ROLLING WITH REINFORCED RIMS TO TACKLE THE UK’s POTHOLES, BRIDLE WAYS AND TOWPATHS WIDE RANGE OF GEARS TRIPLE CHAINSET, LOW GEARS FOR STEEP CLIMBS AND 50 TOOTH BIG RING FOR BLASTING DOWNHILL RACE BRED FRAME KONA 7005 ALUMINIUM BUTTED CROSS FRAME, BASED ON THE SAME GEOMETRY AS THE RACE WINNING MODEL MULTI- FUNCTION TYRES GRIP AND TRACTION FOR OFF-ROAD BALANCED WITH SLICK TREAD FOR SPEED ON ROAD konaworld.com KONA JAKE - LIGHT AND VERSATILE Fast and light on the road, stable and firm off the road. The Only Bike You Will Ever Need. THE KONA JAKE Web: cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk Tel: 01202 732288 MAURICE FREESTYLE RRP: ÂŁ449.99 4130 cro mo frame / Weinmann Thunderbird rims / WTB Freedom Thick Slick tyres Odyssey Twisted PC pedals / Odyssey Aaron Ross grips / 1 pc bar & stem Feet straps / 18t flip flop hub Out of the ordinary... Out of the ordinary… Pashley Tri-1 Check out this traditional tricycle that offers stability and a lot of fun A standard bicycle isn’t for everybody which is why Pashley, a traditional British brand that still builds all its cycles by hand in Stratford-upon-Avon, includes a couple of adult tricycles in its range too. The Tri-1 features a low step-through frame so getting on and off is easy, and the three wheels mean it’s ultra-stable. You get a wide range of gears via the seven-speed derailleur – you just click the twist-grip shifter to change between them – and reliable brakes provide plenty of control. Plush comfort comes via elastomer springs in the saddle while mudguards and a rear carrier are both valuable additions. You can fit a basket back there if you need to carry a lot of luggage. The Tri-1 shown here is the folding version (£715). Take the seat post and handlebar out and pivot the frame on its hinge and you can carry it in the back of a car. If that’s not useful for you, the non-folding model costs £665. The other option is the Tri-1 Fixed Gear. It comes with a single, low gear and the fact that it’s fixed (there’s no freewheel so the pedals are always in motion when the wheels are moving) helps you move your feet through the top of the pedal stroke. It also allows you to reverse. This model costs £615 with a folding equivalent £50 extra. For all the details go to www.pashley.co.uk. www.cyclescheme.co.uk 15 Autumn/Winter 2011 Stuff Bringing you the very best cycling gear for your daily commute and beyond SKS Tour Bag £25.99 Keep your ride essentials packed neatly away in this extendable saddlebag. A quick release attachment means it’s easy to take with you when you lock up your bike. www.sks-germany.com Topeak Mini 20 Pro multitool £26.99 This high-quality multi-tool packs all the functions you’re likely to need out on the road into one small and lightweight package. www.extrauk.co.uk Respro Hump Rucksack Cover £32.99 Reflective print on this waterproof rucksack/pannier cover ensures you’re seen at night. www.madison.co.uk Bontrager Commuting Wool Top £69.99 Made from super-soft merino wool, this shirt provides effective temperature control on the bike and looks great off it. www.bontrager.com 16 Stuff Blackburn Multi Mirror £14.99 Attach this vibration-resistant mirror to the end of your handlebar and get a clear view of what’s going on behind. www.madison.co.uk Birzman Horizons pump £27.99 Unlike some cheaper rivals, this aluminium pump is built to last. It fits both Presta and Schrader valves and it’ll get you back in the saddle in no time. www.birzman.co.uk Cordo Tafelberg Red Office Bag £49.99 You can carry this stylish laptop bag over your shoulder, or on a rack thanks to the adjustable hooks on the back. www.i-ride.co.uk Tifosi Slip glasses £49.99 With three interchangeable lenses, these specs will protect your eyes all year round. www.zyro.co.uk Buff Original £12.98 It might be just a stretchy polyester tube but a Buff does an excellent job of keeping your neck and/or head warm in cold weather. www.buffwear.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk 17 Autumn/Winter 2011 success Getting a bike for riding to work might just lead to bigger things, as employees of GE Aviation found outâ€Ś 20 Cycle to Success C ycling is on a roll. Well over a million people started cycling in the UK in 2010, taking the total to 13 million, and 28% more bikes were sold than in the previous year. But what the statistics don’t show you is the positive impact that taking up cycling, including commuting by bike, has on the lives of countless people around the country, so we visited GE Aviation in Hamble, Hampshire, to find out… GE Aviation is the world’s leading manufacturer of aircraft jet engines and systems, and the Hamble site specialises in aircraft structures. The company set up a Cycle to Work programme with Cyclescheme in 2010 and it has been a huge success. So far, 130 employees have used it to get a new bike. That’s over 15% of the entire staff. “GE Aviation has a corporate initiative called Health Ahead which encourages everyone in the company to live healthy lifestyles,” says HR Leader Ivan Sparks. “As a consequence of encouraging more active lifestyles, colleagues approached the business and asked if we could set up a Cycle to Work scheme. We had two volunteers who were already cyclists, Paul Allen and Richard Channon, who offered to work with Cyclescheme to set up the process, so it was led and managed by them.” As the scheme grew in popularity, it became evident that there was a cycling buzz in the air. Taking a proactive approach, GE Aviation decided to focus on what else they could do for those who were now cycling to work. “We have refurbished the changing facilities at the on-site gym so people can go in there and use the showers if they Cycling is booming Earlier in the year, Sky and British Cycling commissioned a study of cycling’s contribution to the British economy covering everything from bike sales to the benefits of improved health. The British Cycling Economy showed that cycling is booming in this country. It revealed that… l 3 .7 million bikes were sold in the UK in 2010 l 208 million cycle journeys were made in the same year l There were 1.3 million new cyclists, 500,000 of them frequent or regular cyclists l 2 2,000 people used the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme in London every day, sharing 5,000 hire bikes like after cycling to work,” says Ivan. “We’re currently upgrading the cycle parking too.” GE Aviation has embraced the role of cycle-friendly employer to the extent that there are now repair facilities onsite to support staff that ride to work. “We had an old building that wasn’t being used and the guys, inspired by the Cycle to Work scheme, painted it. In partnership with bike retailer Hargroves Cycles, they set up a cycle repair centre. If anyone gets a puncture or their chain breaks on the way to work, they can go in there and fix it.” That’s great for the riders who can save money on equipment and bike shop maintenance fees, and it also fits perfectly with GE Aviation’s approach as an employer. “We believe that by investing in cycling activities we have fitter, healthier colleagues and improved commitment,” says Ivan. “It also helps protect the environment through lower emissions and reduced traffic congestion.” A recent report called The British Cycling Economy undertaken by the www.cyclescheme.co.uk 21 Autumn /Winter 2011 London School of Economics found that regular cyclists take 7.4 sick days per year compared to 8.7 sick days for non-cyclists. That’s 15% fewer days off for cyclists. Scale that up across the whole of a workforce and it makes sound financial sense to promote travelling by bike. The more GE Aviation has supported the bike culture that their Cycle to Work scheme has instilled, the more people have got involved. And as well as riding for transport, employees have increasingly Charity rides Since starting to ride to work, the cyclists from GE Aviation have got involved in charity rides which, as well as raising money for worthy causes, are a lot of fun. Charity rides will usually take you through great countryside and they’re well signposted so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. You’ll often get a refreshment stop along the route too. Charity rides are open to everyone. They’re not races – you can take them at whatever speed you like. Keep your eyes open for rides in your area or head along to www.britishcycling.org.uk for a list of events coming up. 22 begun to cycle in their leisure time too. “The best thing is that setting up the scheme has acted as a catalyst for us to do more things,” says Ivan. “Richard and a colleague called Kevin Bryant – who got a bike through the scheme – have organised involvement in charity cycle rides. We had 25 or 30 people participate in a British Heart Foundation ride earlier in the year, and about 15 people rode in a Help for Heroes event in the New Forest.” The GE Aviation riders have even had their own cycling jersey designed by one employee’s daughter. “There were four or five different designs that were shown to people across the site and the favourite one was made. Two companies sponsored the production of the shirts and they were handed out by Jerry Kroger, our General Manager for Composite Centers of Excellence, when he was visiting from the US. When we do other organised rides, we’ll do them in these shirts.” So, setting up the Cycle to Work scheme has been a big success for GE Aviation. The company has committed to the health and wellbeing of staff and The benefits of riding to work l A Cyclescheme user will typically save over £600 a year in car running costs l And burn 8,391 calories cycling to work each month. That’s equivalent to 17 cheeseburgers, or about 20 hours in the gym l Cyclescheme’s newest users have saved 113,217kg of C02 in the last month alone. That’s equivalent to about 350 acres of rainforest taken positive steps to reduce pollution, while employees are fitter, they’re avoiding traffic and they’re saving money on travel. They’re also having fun into the bargain. It’s about time you got involved and started enjoying the benefits too. Autumn/Winter 2011 in detail... Bike test The Charge’s single gear cuts down on the need for maintenance The mudguards are a practical touch for year-round commuting Other rated rides... Foffa Prima £485 This double-butted steel frame comes in a standard singlespeed build for £485 but you can individualise your bike by choosing the components you want from a range on offer, and the price will be adjusted accordingly. You can pick the colour of various parts too, from the frame and fork to the grips and tyres, so you can be as subtle or as adventurous as you like. www.foffabikes.com 24 Trek Manhattan £500.00 If you’re after practicality and old-school style, take a good look at the Manhattan. There are three low-maintenance gears, a reliable dynamo hub from Shimano and roller brakes. Mudguards and a rack come ready-fitted and you even get a kickstand and an integrated lock. Trek have thought of everything. www.trekbikes.com On test... Charge Plug Grinder £599.99 A simple and effortlessly cool steel singlespeed that’s perfect for all kinds of urban riding… S traightforward and stylish – that sums up the Plug Grinder concisely. This steel singlespeed is perfect for urban commuting, riding into town for a coffee, or taking along the local towpath, and the cool looks just add to its appeal. Why would you go for a singlespeed when there are so many multi-geared bikes to choose from? For one thing, a singlespeed is cheaper because you’re not shelling out for gear mechs, shifters or a cassette. Plus, you’ll save some weight by forgoing all those components. The main benefit, though, is that a singlespeed is so simple. It might not be the best option if you live in a mega-hilly area, but you’ll probably be surprised at the gradients you can climb without the aid of gears. And with fewer components than normal to go wrong, you’ll probably save time and money on maintenance. The Plug Grinder is fitted with a flip-flop rear hub that allows you to change easily between a freewheel and a fixed gear. Run it one way and you can coast whenever you like; flip the wheel around and the cranks will turn whenever the bike The flat handlebar provides you with a head-up riding position that’s ideal for the urban environment is moving. It’s one of those things you need to try for yourself to appreciate, but riding fixed is really enjoyable. It might take some practice before you’re comfortable but it’s well worth the effort… and if it’s really not for you, you can always stick with the freewheel option. The rest of the bike is equally simple. The frame is made from strong Tange cromoly steel tubing, and so is the tapered Tech Specs Price: £599.99 Weight: 23.3lb (10.6kg) Frame: Tange heattreated cromoly steel, Fork: Tange Plug cromoly Drivetrain: Sugino RD2 Messenger, 42-tooth chainring, Dicta 16t freewheel Brakes: Tektro R538 with Promax 239A levers Wheels: Charge alloy hubs and rims, Kenda Amberwall tyres Other: Charge Spoon saddle, Charge flat handlebar, alloy 3D forged stem Sizes: S-L fork that keeps things smooth at the front end. Steel is a traditional bike-making material that won’t let you down. It’ll handle the knocks and all manner of daily mistreatment without undue worry so the Plug Grinder is an investment that should last you years. You get a lovely olive paint job here – tastefully understated rather than loud and brash – and matching mudguards to keep you clean if the weather turns against you. They’re a major bonus for year-round commuting, making all the difference when you inevitably ride on wet roads from time to time. If you don’t want them fitted, they’re easy enough to remove. The flat handlebar provides you with a head-up riding position that’s Flip-flop hub A rear hub ideal for the urban environment, and that enables you to run a it’s fairly narrow which is useful for different gear on each side. manoeuvring through congested traffic. It’s frequently used to offer Other versions of the Plug are available a fixed sprocket on one side with different handlebars if you’d prefer, and a freewheel – which including one with a bullhorn design. allows you to coast – on the Charge’s Spoon saddle is a winner too, other. You have to remove the with enough flex and cushioning to keep wheel and flip it around to you fully intact if you hit the odd unseen switch between them. pothole, and the 32-spoked wheels are built to be strong and durable so you’re unlikely to find yourself sidelined with a broken spoke. The Plug Grinder is a solid bike that can handle anything urban life is likely to sling in its direction. Reliable, fun, and very cool, it’s an excellent all-rounder. www.chargebikes.com Condor Pista £549.99 frameset Condor will build up this Dedacciai triple-butted steel frame to your requirements from a wide range of options. It comes with rear facing dropouts so you can run it as either a singlespeed or a fixed, and you can get a complete bike for under £900. The finish is available in olive and cream and the fork is full carbon. www.condorcycles.com Jargon Buster Globe Roll 2 £629.99 A durable Reynolds 520 steel frame lies at the heart of this clean and simple fixed/ singlespeed, and the lugged straight-leg fork is built for strength too. The wheels use Allen bolts rather than quick release skewers for extra security while a Flak Jacket puncture protection layer in the tyres will keep you rolling along. www.globebikes.com www.cyclescheme.co.uk 25 Autumn/Winter 2011 Example Package Add safety equipment for the full bike-to-work experience! £59 9.9 9 Cha rge Plu g Gr inde r £69. 99 Abus www U-Mini 4 .zyro.c 01 o.uk 9 £En4du7ra.9 Laser II ra.co.uk www.endu rt .99treetSma £S3pec9iali.szpedecSialized.com w ww Total retail price £757.96 Example savings 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. Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. 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). 26 Example Cyclescheme savings for basic and higher rate tax payers Price after savings for basic rate tax payer £515.41 Price after savings for higher rate tax payer £439.62 Higher rate Basic rate 40% Tax, 2% NI 20% Tax, 12% NI Bike package retail price £757.96 Bike package retail price £757.96 Income tax & NI saved £242.55 Income tax & NI saved £318.34 Gross monthly repayments £63.16 Gross monthly repayments £63.16 Net monthly payments £42.95 Net monthly payments £36.63 Total cost of bike package £515.41 Total cost of bike package £439.62 EUA payment £50.25 EUA payment £50.25 Total saving at end of EUA £192.30 Total saving at end of EUA £268.09 End of hire End of hire ...your life LTD COMP For full dealer list, please visit www.cube.eu essentials Autumn/Winter 2011 e kit you just can’t do without… We give you the lowdown on the bik Helmets Head protection comes in many different styles; here’s our pick of the best for every budget B ike helmets are incredibly comfortable these days. They’re so light that you’ll hardly notice you have one on and most cleverly channel air in at the front and out the back to keep your head cool. There are ever more commuter-specific designs out there with features like LEDs around the back to improve your visibility and mount points for additional lights. If possible, try a helmet on before you buy it and take expert advice in the shop. Today’s fit-systems provide lots of adjustment but some will match the shape of your head better than others, so make sure you get one that sits snug and secure. Jargon buster Fit system Helmets come with a fit system – sometimes called a retention system – which is a harness arrangement that allows you to fine-tune the sizing. A fit system that’s adjustable with just one hand makes on-the-fly alterations easier. 28 Abus Metronaut £79.99 Designed specifically for commuters and other urban cyclists, the Metronaut comes with an integral cover that gives it the look of an everyday cap. The fit is quickly and easily adjustable via an adjustment wheel and the internal pads are simple to remove for washing. You can choose between two different grey patterns: pin stripe and tartan. www.zyro.co.uk Giro Indicator £34.99 Bell Arella £59.99 The Arella is an urban helmet that’s sized specifically for women. It comes with integrated flashing lights around the back, and if that’s not enough for you there’s a spot to clip on an extra LED back there. The peak is designed so you can add a small Blackburn Front Flea LED up front for even more visibility and there’s a mountpoint for attaching a rearview mirror too. Setting up the straps takes seconds and a ratcheted buckle system allows you to fine-tune the fit. Available in a male version too – the Muni. www.madison.co.uk The Indicator has the looks of Giro’s top-end helmets at a fraction of the price. Loads of channelled venting keeps your head cool while the snap-fit peak comes in useful whether it’s sunny or raining. Giro’s Acu-Dial fit system could hardly be simpler; you just turn a little wheel around the back to hold the helmet comfortably in place. www.madison.co.uk Bontrager Solstice £34.99 Essential kit: Helmets Bontrager use a one-hand adjustable fit system here so you can easily alter the setup even when you’re riding along, and the peak keeps both sun and rain out of your eyes – although it’s easy to remove if you’d rather ride without. The Solstice is available in both a standard version and in women’s-specific WSD models. www.bontrager.com Alpina Vector £44.99 This helmet is produced in Germany to a really high standard; the finish is flawless. You get refreshingly good venting here while bug netting inside is a boon, barring entry to all unwanted invaders. An adjustment dial at the back allows you to fit the helmet in seconds with just one hand, and you can choose the angle of the harness from three different positions so it sits in the most secure and comfortable position on your head. Available in both white and anthracite. www.merida.com Met Crossover £39.99 The Crossover is designed both for riding on the road and for mountain biking – hence the name. It has a red LED mounted on the size-adjuster dial around the back to draw the attention of people driving behind you and reflective print adds further safety. There’s an insect net inside the front vents to stop anything crawling into your hair during the summer, and the clip-on peak doesn’t require any holes in the shell so the helmet looks just as neat whether it’s attached or not. www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk Proviz Triton LED £55.99 Red LEDs built into the adjustable headring add visibility to the Triton to make sure you’re seen by other road-users. It’s already highly noticeable in traffic thanks to the fluorescent yellow colour, although you can go for a black version if you prefer. That one is more subtle in daylight, with large reflective areas making sure that you standout at night. There’s loads of ventilation to stop you overheating and the peak is removable if you’d rather ride without one. www.todayscyclist.co.uk Specialized Street Smart £39.99 This commuter helmet is designed to look the part when you’re riding around town in your everyday work clothes. Although the shell comes in a subtle range of colours, the webbing used for the straps is reflective so it gets you noticed at night and you get an adapter for attaching lighting options too. www.specialized.com www.cyclescheme.co.uk 29 Autumn/Winter 2011 Secure your bike Half a million bikes are stolen in the UK every year – here’s how to protect yours Y ou’ve just got your hands on a brand new bike to ride to work on. It’s quick, it’s sleek, it’s convenient, it’s… gone. The sad fact is that bikes get stolen in large numbers, but the good news is that there’s lots you can do to keep yours safe and to minimise the impact if thieves do strike. Buy a lock The most obvious first step is to invest in a good lock – or more than one. There are loads of different types of lock to choose from (see the side panels for examples). The right option for you will depend on where you lock your bike, whether you need to carry it or can leave it in one place, how much you’re able to spend, and so on. When making your choice, look out for Sold Secure ratings. Sold Secure is a body that’s owned and administered by the Master Locksmiths Association – which is a not-for-profit trade association. It tests all kinds of security 30 Secure your bike products at purpose-built laboratories and gives them a rating based on the level of security they offer. Bike locks can get three different levels of Sold Secure Approval – bronze, silver and gold. No bike lock is 100% impenetrable – given the right tools, a thief can get through anything sooner or later – but a Bronze level lock will guard your bike against an opportunist thief. Silver offers a compromise between security and cost, and gold offers the highest level of security. Go to www.soldsecure.com for a full list of approved products. Some cheap locks look the part but will put up minimal resistance when confronted by a determined crook. Don’t be tempted to skimp here – it could be a costly gamble. Lock your bike effectively Where do you think most bikes are when they’re stolen? Chained up in a bike park? Attached to railings in the street? The truth is, two-thirds are taken from in and around the cyclist’s own property. Half are taken from the victim’s garden, and one in six from an outbuilding like a shed, so you need to keep your bike locked even when you’re at home. Here’s how to lock up your bike properly: l Lock your bike to an immovable object that can’t be easily cut or broken – a plastic gutter is no good. Fit a ground or wall-mounted anchor for extra security at home. l Lock it in an area that’s well lit and where people pass by frequently so any thief can be seen. l If you use a U-lock, fill as much of the enclosed space as possible so it’s harder for a thief to get something in there to lever it open. l Position a U-lock with the keyhole facing the ground so it’s harder to access. l Make sure your lock isn’t on the ground or it can be levered/broken more easily. l Lock up your bike by the frame, not just the wheel – or a thief can simply leave the wheel in place and walk off with the rest of the bike. l Use a cable lock to protect the bike’s components – like the wheels, saddle and so on – or use something like a Pinhead locking fastener system (see side panel) that secures the individual parts. l If you use more than one lock make sure they’re different types so any thief needs two sets of tools to get through them. Abus 210 Multiloop £39.99 You can make either one or two loops with this cable, then pull any excess through the lock body so there’s no space for a thief to exploit. Ideal for securing components to your frame. www.zyro.co.uk Onguard Mastiff £64.99 Although too weighty to carry far, this chain lock provides heavy-duty security courtesy of steel links and a hardened shackle; ideal for leaving at a regular locking point at home or work. www.todayscyclist.co.uk Register your bike Unfortunately, even well locked bikes get half-inched so take advantage of the Bike Shepherd free registration service that aims to reunite you with your bike in the event of a theft. “You go online and register your personal details and the bike’s details,” says Kevin Bird of Bike Shepherd. “That’s all stored on the system. Then, if the bike is stolen, you go back to the website and list it as stolen and a global stolen bike alert gets sent out immediately. “We use a sophisticated program that sends the alert straight through to a blog. The blog then updates Facebook Squire Snaplok £59.99 This rigid metal loop is the only combination lock with Sold Secure silver status. Aimed at urban cyclists, it comes with a bracket for carrying it safely on your bike. www.squirelocks.co.uk Abus U-Mini 401 £69.99 This new lock is small (195 x 145 x 40mm) and light (1,063g) so it’s simple to stash in a bag or even a pocket, yet it’s tough enough to get Sold Secure Gold certification. www.zyro.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk 31 Autumn/Winter 2011 and Twitter, and also goes through specific regionalised feeds – so we send people the feeds that are relevant to their area. It also means that if anyone types the serial number of a stolen bike into Google, it’ll come up as the first hit.” It’s clever stuff. If you like, you can buy a set of Kryptonite Bike Shepherd Pulse ID tags for added security (£9.99). The sticky tags are tamper-resistant and weatherproof, and Bike Shepherd recommends that you put one on the bike where it’s easily seen to act as a visual deterrent to thieves, and a couple hidden away so they’re unlikely to be removed. Then if your bike is stolen and it comes into contact with the police – or anyone who has registered a bike and downloaded the free bike scanner app to their smart phone – they can scan one of the Pulse ID tags and contact you immediately. “We’re working on a registration program at the moment where we can automatically register every single bike that’s obtained through Cyclescheme,” says Kevin. “Then, if at any point the rider needs to raise a stolen bike alert, it can be done instantly. This will be available some time in January 2012.” For all the information on Bike Shepherd, go along to www.bikeshepherd.org. Insure your bike You should think seriously about bike insurance too. Cycleguard work in partnership with Cyclescheme and provide a range of flexible bicycle insurance options – so you can buy 32 the cover you need without shelling out on anything that’s not useful for you. Is the bike already covered by an existing home contents insurance policy? It’s worth checking the details because some don’t cover a bike over a certain value or if you take it away from home. You can get cover from Cycleguard with no excess charges on theft or damage claims as long as the bike isn’t stored in a wooden shed or a communal hallway or outbuilding. You can get an instant quote online too – and if you can find the same cover at a better price within 28 days of taking out a policy, they’ll refund double the difference. Interestingly, you can get public liability cover from Cycleguard too, so if you cause an accident or damage to another road user you’ll be protected against claims. You can also get a roadside recovery option to help you out if you’re unable to complete your journey anywhere in the UK because of an accident, theft, vandalism or irreparable breakdown. Rescue specialists Call Assist will take you and your bike to a convenient location – that could be to a bike shop or a railway station, for example, or to your home if that’s nearer. Get a bike through Cyclescheme and you get a 10% discount with Cycleguard. For all the info on Cycleguard cover go to www.cycleguard.co.uk/cs. Trelock FS 455 £69.99 The big advantage of a folding lock is that it’s compact and easy to carry. This tough model comes with a mount for fixing it to your bike and a Sold Secure Silver rating. www.extrauk.co.uk OnGuard 5043 Akita £11.99 Thread this heavy-duty steel cable through your wheels and saddle rails, then attach the looped ends to a lock to stop anyone walking off with expensive components. www.todayscyclist.co.uk Abus Granit WBA 100 £84.99 Fasten this shackle to the floor or wall, inside or out, to provide solid anchorage for locking your bike at home. Incredibly strong, it comes with a Sold Secure Gold rating. www.zyro.co.uk Pinhead Ultimate Pack £114.99 Secure all the key components on your bike by fitting these lockable parts – and you get a Sold Secure Gold Bubble Lock to keep the frame safe too. Smaller packs are available at lower prices. www.2pure.co.uk SUB stands for Speed Utility Bike and describes a modern urban bike designed for commuting, trips to the store, and just getting around town. Frame and fork eyelets make it easy to mount the Urban-Kit rack and fender system, so you can transport your groceries with ease and stay dry doing it. scott-sports.com www.facebook.com/scottsports JOIN US ON FACEBOOK ÂŠ SCOTT SPORTS SA 2011 | PHOTO: FRED LEISER Autumn/Winter 2011 in detail... Bike test The stem is easily adjustable so you can get the best ride position The suspension seatpost takes the pain out of rough road surfaces Other rated rides... Felt QX65 £374.99 The entry-level model in Felt’s allrounder range, the QX65 combines the strength and reliability of a mountain bike with the efficiency of a road bike. The butted aluminium frame is lightweight for the money while a 21-speed Shimano gear system takes the pain out of the climbs. Available in both men’s and women’s versions. www.feltbicycles.com 34 Claud Butler Urban 600 £599.99 The Urban 600 is available in both men’s and women’s versions, each of them built around an aluminium frame and a rigid carbon fork. You get tough Shimano Alivio components that’ll stand the test of time and hydraulic disc brakes that provide plenty of power when you need to stop in a hurry. www.falconcycles.co.uk On test... Dawes Discovery 301 £429.99 Tech Specs This do-it-all hybrid blends strength and durability with plenty of comfort whether you’re riding on road or trail T he Discovery 301 is a versatile bike that can turn its hand to pretty much anything from the daily commute to heading along the towpath for a leisurely ride in the evening. Taking features from both road bikes and mountain bikes, it’s a hybrid that combines reliability with a whole lot of comfort. The Discovery 301 is built around a distinctive aluminium frame that comes with squared-off edges and a high-quality paint job. When it comes to the choice of components, Dawes have put a high priority on making sure that you’re comfortable. Take the adjustable alloy stem, for instance. Most stems have a set angle, but this one allows you to move the handlebar up and down for the perfect fit. If you want the bar high for an upright ride position to take the strain off your back, you just get out an Allen key and set it there. The suspension seatpost is another comfort-inspired feature, absorbing the bumps and shocks if you hit a pothole or ride on uneven tracks. Rather than a skinny race saddle, you get a broad, soft perch here to reduce the pressure and When it comes to the choice of components, Dawes have put a high priority on making sure that you’re comfortable the large 35mm tyres improve the ride quality further, that big chamber of air helping to smooth over rough surfaces. If you still want still more comfort, you can go for the optional suspension fork upgrade. An extra £39.99 gets you 63mm of coil-sprung travel up front via an SR Suntour Nex 4000 unit. You won’t need it if all of your riding is on the road but it’s worth considering if you’re likely to head off the asphalt on a regular basis. The standard alloy-bladed fork comes with eyelets for fitting a mudguard, and you get more eyelets at the back of the bike for another mudguard and/or a rack. Go for guards and you’ll certainly stay cleaner and drier if you commute by bike all year round, and carrying everything you need for work on a rack means you don’t need to wear a bag on your back. The Discovery 301 comes with a triple chainset – three chainrings at the front – matched up to an eight-speed cassette at the rear, giving you a huge range of gears to choose from. No matter how steep the hill or how much you’re carrying, they’ll help you get to the top without too much trouble. Changing between the gears could hardly be easier thanks to the Shimano Rapidfire shifters that sit right next to the handlebar grips. You just use your thumbs and forefingers to shift effortlessly and little visual displays tell you which gear you’re in so you don’t even need to look down and check the drivetrain. Well-respected Shimano hubs and strong Alex rims produce a durable set of wheels. With 36 spokes front and rear, these will stand up to all kinds of use and abuse without complaint while alloy V-brakes provide the power you need to stay safe in traffic. The Discovery 301 is available in a women’s version, with a step-through frame, at the same price. www.dawescycles.com Raleigh Urban 6 £699.99 Raleigh provide some great components on this lightweight aluminium frame. You get 27 wide-ranging gears courtesy of Shimano’s high-performance Deore shifters and derailleurs, and the hydraulic disc brakes provide powerful control whether you’re riding on road or trail. Eyelets for fitting mudguards and/or rack add to the appeal for commuting. www.raleigh.co.uk Price: £429.99 Weight: 29.1lb (13.2kg) Frame: Dawes Discovery hybrid, Dynamism alloy tubeset Fork: Alloy blades with mudguard eyes Drivetrain: Shimano Alivio rear mech, Shimano M310 front mech, Shimano ST-M360 Rapidfire 24 speed shifters, Shimano FC-M191 chainset (48/38/28-tooth chainrings), 11-30-tooth 8-speed cassette Brakes: Alloy V-brakes, Shimano levers Wheels: Alex Ace 18 double wall alloy rims with CNC sidewalls, Shimano FH-RM60 rear hub, alloy front hub, Kenda K-948 700 x 35c tyres Other: Dawes Sports saddle, alloy flat handlebar and alloy adjustable stem Sizes: 18, 20, 22in, plus 16in and 18in women’s models Jargon Buster Hybrid bike A hybrid is an all-rounder that takes features from both road bikes and mountain bikes so you can ride it on both the road and on trails. You get the upright riding position of a mountain bike along with a triple chainset and strong brakes, and usually road bike-sized wheels. Moulton TSR2 £950 Moulton bikes are beautifully engineered, coming with suspension at both the front and rear to take the edge off irregular road surfaces. The TSR2 comes with a two-speed Sturmey Archer gear and an integrated back-pedal brake. The two ends of the bike are separable for easy transportation. www.moultonbicycles.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk 35 Autumn/Winter 2011 Example Package Add safety equipment for the full bike-to-work experience! £42 9.9 9 Daw es D isco very 301 9.99 £5 Squire Snaplok .uk www.squirelocks.co 9 £Bon6tr9ager.9Sporntshell uter Rai Comm trager.com on www.b .990RC £C5ate9yeE.zLy-r3o.c4o.uk w ww Total retail price £619.96 Example savings 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. Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. 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 Price after savings for basic rate tax payer £421.57 Price after savings for higher rate tax payer £359.58 Higher rate Basic rate 40% Tax, 2% NI 20% Tax, 12% NI Bike package retail price £619.96 Bike package retail price £619.96 Income tax & NI saved £198.39 Income tax & NI saved £260.38 Gross monthly repayments £51.66 Gross monthly repayments £51.66 Net monthly payments £35.13 Net monthly payments £29.96 Total cost of bike package £421.57 Total cost of bike package £359.58 EUA payment £43.40 EUA payment £43.40 Total saving at end of EUA £154.99 Total saving at end of EUA £216.98 End of hire End of hire essentials Autumn/Winter 2011 e kit you just can’t do without… We give you the lowdown on the bik Lights Make sure you’re seen on the roads with a powerful set of bike lights… I f you commute in the dark you’ll need to fit some lights to your bike. The good news is that there are some excellent options to choose from these days – small, lightweight and powerful enough to keep you perfectly safe on the roads. Rechargeable lights can be fairly expensive to buy but they’re often the most economical solution in the long run because you’ll never need to shell out on replacement batteries. Plus, topping up the power overnight is no hassle; get into the habit of plugging your lights in regularly and you’ll never find yourself running out of juice out on the road. RSP Asteri 3 £89.99 Sitting in a tough alloy casing, this rechargeable light is built to stand up to the rigours of everyday commuting. It’s waterproof too and the quick release bracket allows you to remove the Asteri easily when you leave your bike and reattach it in seconds when you get back. The central beam is strong and you get both constant and flashing modes. www.raleigh.co.uk Jargon buster LED This stands for light-emitting diode. These are used in many bike lights because they don’t require much power for their brightness and they have a long lifetime. High-power LED systems frequently offer a low-light mode to preserve the battery. 38 Knog Boomer USB £34.49 The bright little Boomer LED is protected by a removable silicone jacket. Take it out of there and slot it straight into a USB port for recharging, then you’ll get up to 80hrs of use in flashing mode – less if you shift to constant. It fits to your handlebar without tools – the stretchy silicone band holds it in place – and is easy to remove and take with you when you lock your bike in a public area. Available in a variety of colours and as a rear option (£22.99) too. www.todayscyclist.co.uk Essential kit: Lights Cateye EL-340RC £59.99 Smart lens technology means that the Cateye belts out a whole lot of light with just one LED. This model has a direct power port for recharging although another version (£39.99) uses normal AA batteries if you prefer. Mounting it to your bars is simple thanks to a finger-tightened dial on the bracket. www.zyro.co.uk Light and Motion Vis 360 £139.99 The Vis 360 is a helmet-mounted system (135g) that adds to the lights on your bike for extra safety when you're riding in traffic. You can set the punchy front light to whatever angle you like while the rear unit glows super-bright to make sure you’re noticed. Power it up via a computer’s USB port or a phone charger – the Vis 360 is compatible with most – and you’ll get 2hrs of constant use or over 24hrs in flashing mode. www.madison.co.uk Exposure Flash/Flare £85 The dinky front Flash weighs just 46g yet it’s bright enough both to get you seen and to light the way. The Flare is a similar design for the back of your bike – very small but surprisingly powerful. Each fits in seconds courtesy of a secure silicon band and provides over three hours of light per charge. The recharger comes as part of the package although you can buy the lights individually and use disposable batteries if you prefer. www.exposurelights.com NiteRider Lightning Bug 3.0 £14.99 This tiny fella, weighing just 36g, is best used to provide extra visibility to a main light. Set it in flashing mode to make sure you’re noticed in traffic. This model has three bright LEDs but two (£12.99) and one (£9.99) LED versions are available too, and they come in a bunch of different colours. www.2pure.co.uk Electron Terra 1 £74.99 RSP Urban 8 Rear £24.99 It’s vital that you’re seen from the sides, especially at junctions and in multi-lane traffic, and this rear light makes sure that you are with two bright LEDs facing left and right as well as the four pointing backwards. You can choose between flashing and constant modes and it’s impressively waterproof which is good news for year-round commuting. www.raleigh.co.uk This little powerhouse offers a lot of light for your money – ample for getting you seen around town and even enough for riding on unlit roads. The Terra 1 consists of an LED head unit and a separate battery that you attach to your stem or frame. Recharge it from the mains overnight and you’ll get 10hrs of runtime on the highest power, right up to 70hrs in the flashing mode. A low battery indicator ensures you never run out of juice unexpectedly while little side windows improve visibility in traffic. www.madison.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk 39 Autumn/Winter 2011 Inside Brompton British designed and British made, the Brompton folding bike has a worldwide reputation for being both practical and efficient. Hereâ€™s whyâ€Ś 40 Inside Brompton I t’s busy in here and there’s a hint of something that smells like fireworks in the air. Flames so bright you have to turn away are brazing steel together and Brompton bikes are gradually taking shape. Brompton is a cycling success story. Founded in London by engineer Andrew Ritchie back in the 1970s, the company now makes around 30,000 folding bikes a year that are shipped all around the world. “We’ve grown massively over the past few years,” says Brompton’s Emerson Roberts. “The UK remains our largest market but a greater proportion of what we make now goes overseas… Japan is our biggest overseas market followed by Benelux. Germany is right up there too. And Spain. And France. And Korea. And North America…” So what makes Bromptons so popular? People love the fact that the bike folds down small for transportation yet the contact points – the saddle, the handlebar and the pedals – are all in the same position as on a standard frame and the quality of the ride is so impressive. Like the Mini and the Routemaster bus, the design has quickly become a British transport icon. “Our bikes are incredibly functional,” says Emerson. “Bromptons are highly regarded because they’re handmade, bespoke, high-quality bicycles. To achieve what we achieve with our bikes, we place a lot of emphasis on the quality of the know-how, and that’s why it’s vitally important that we produce our bikes here in London.” Lots of other brands might be technically British, but their bikes are usually produced in the Far East and shipped over. Bromptons are built in a compact unit in Brentford. Andrew Ritchie is still very much involved on a day-to-day level. He’s Brompton’s Technical Director and he sits in the office at the computer or Brompton in brief Founded 1976 Location Brentford, London Employees 125 Output 30,000 bikes per year Website www.brompton.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk 41 Autumn/Winter 2011 Brompton World Championship A team of skilled workers braze most of the joints by hand; this is the most time-consuming part of the process the drawing board. Downstairs in the workshop things are nosier and more animated. Some of the frame-building process is automated but not much of it. A team of skilled workers braze most of the joints by hand. That’s the most time-consuming part of the process, even though the majority of the brazers have several years of experience behind them. They work quickly… although there’s a surprising amount of singing going on down here. “Music makes you braze better,” claims Ruben. Maybe it does. Terry checks various parts on a co-ordinate measuring machine. It’s a computer-controlled piece of kit that assesses dimensions and angles to see whether the individual piece has been built to the correct standards. If it’s not manufactured within strict tolerances – 0.1mm in some cases – it doesn’t 42 pass. It’s this precision that helps make Bromptons ride so efficiently when they eventually make it out onto the road. Once the frames are complete, they head off to Wales for painting before coming back to London for assembly. The bikes are made up of 1,200 individual pieces, the vast majority of which are manufactured especially for Brompton. All of these parts are added to the frame in about 35 minutes, each bike steadily coming together as it moves around the workshop. Then the finished Bromptons are checked individually before shipping. Kevin takes his own bike out of the company parking rack and demonstrates the ease of the fold. It’s a four-step process that takes him, ooh, 20 seconds absolute max; probably less. There’s nothing fiddly about it and the final stage of lowering the saddle Brompton hold an annual World Championship at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, and although competitors come from around the globe, it’s a very, very British affair with a big emphasis on having fun. Riders – both male and female – must wear a blazer or suit jacket, a collared shirt and a tie, and sports attire is expressly forbidden unless it’s hidden under approved clothing. The field is limited to 750 competitors and each has to unfold their bike before embarking on the 13.15km (8.2-mile) course. As well as prizes for the fastest riders, awards are given out to the best dressed – it’s that kind of event. Web: W eb: cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk TTel: el: 01202 732288 Autumn/Winter 2011 You can take a folded Brompton on the bus, train or Tube without any hassles, or carry it in the boot of a car locks everything in place. The most unusual aspect of the Brompton fold is that the back of the bike pivots so the rear wheel can kick forward underneath the frame. A hinge towards the front of the frame and another on the handlebar stem allow the bike to fold down to just 585 x 565 x 270mm (23 x 22.2 x 10.6in). It weighs 9-12.5kg (20-28lb), depending on the model, so it’s easy to carry around. You can take a folded Brompton on the bus, train or Tube without any hassles, or carry it in the boot of a car, and it takes up very little space at home or stashed underneath your desk at work. One of the really clever features is that the chain remains tensioned even when your bike is packed down so it’ll never get tangled, and if you want to make things even easier you can buy a bag that allows you to sling it over your shoulder. Making a bike that’s light and compact enough to carry around isn’t all that difficult. Making a bike that rides well is fairly straightforward too. Combining 44 the two is the difficult bit and that’s what sets Brompton apart from the crowd. Bromptons come in just one frame size but extended and telescopic seat pillars allow most people to get a good fit. All of the bikes feature rear suspension to provide extra comfort and control and that’s available in two different types to suit the weight of the rider. The biggest benefit a Brompton has over most other folders is that it feels as good as a conventional bike when you’re in the saddle. The 16in wheels accelerate quickly and you can ride miles without any sacrifice in terms of performance. The frame is rigid and your energy is converted efficiently into speed. Get a model with gears and it’ll handle the hills just fine while dual-pivot calliper brakes provide nocompromise stopping power. The Brompton packs down super-small but it just doesn’t feel like a folder out on the road… and that’s why it’s a modern classic. Brompton M3L You can choose the features that are included on your Brompton and they’ll put your bike together for you, or you can go for a key model with one of their suggested builds. You might call the M3L the classic Brompton. The M bit of the name refers to the riser handlebar that provides you with an upright and comfortable ride position with plenty of control. You can go for a flat S Type flat bar if you prefer, or a P Type that offers multiple hand positions. The 3 tells you that you get a tried and tested Sturmey Archer three-speed hub gear – one, two, three and six-speed options are available – and the L means that you get mudguards but no rack. If you want a rack, you just ask for one and the price is adjusted accordingly. The same goes for loads of other features. You can select the saddle, tyres, luggage… all sorts, in order to get the bike exactly how you want it. You can choose your colour from 15 different options ranging from simple black or white to hot pink, orange, and Turkish green. Battery lighting is included on the key model M3L that costs £790, although you can go without or upgrade to a dynamo-powered setup if you like. AIRKOMPRESSOR 12.0 multi valve floor pump up to 174psi LONGBOARD SET longest fenders on the market TOP CAGE lightweight & sturdy bottle cage INJEX-T-ZOOM multi valve pump up to 144psi TOM 18 18 function all-rounder Made in GerMany TOUR BAG L seat post bag with quick release attachement SKS-GerMany.COM G E R M A N Y Autumn/Winter 2011 in detail... Bike test The bar ends give you an alternative hand position for increased comfort Flicking through the gears is simple thanks to Shimano’s fingertip controls Other rated rides... Pashley Provence £540 This stylish bike comes with a fivespeed hub gear and hub brakes too. With the working parts sheltered away internally, they won’t need much maintenance. The stem is adjustable so you can set the perfect handlebar position and the Brooks leather saddle is a touch of class. Mudguards and a rack mean it’s ready for commuting from the off. www.pashley.co.uk 46 Ridgeback Avenida 3 £379.99 Ridgeback’s Avenida bikes are built to be practical around town. A swept-back handlebar provides a relaxed ride position while the twisting grip-shifter allows you to change easily between the three gears. Mudguards, a chainguard, kickstand and basket all add to the everyday convenience. Available in a gent’s version too. www.ridgeback.co.uk On test... Marin Terra Linda £625 Part road bike, part hybrid, this women’s-specific option offers comfort, practicality and plenty of speed… T he Terra Linda combines aspects of a road bike with features taken from a hybrid in a model that’s designed especially for women. Featuring a wide range of gears and fast wheels along with an upright riding position, it’s an ideal option for commuting as well as for fitness rides and just heading out for enjoyment. The aluminium frame has been triple butted (internally shaped) to keep the weight down and the carbon fork continues the job up front. The reach from the saddle to the handlebars is similar to that of a mountain bike or hybrid and the front end is fairly high, so rather than being stretched out, you’ll find yourself sitting in a relaxed position with a good view of the road ahead. Bar ends provide an alternative hand grip, allowing you to alter your position as you ride for extra comfort. Speaking of comfort, the Terra Linda comes with women’s-specific components at the contact points. The saddle is a dual-density model that offers enough plush cushioning even for long rides while the grips, which are It’s swift enough to make long commutes fun and it comes with eyelets for fitting mudguards and a rack dual density too, reduce vibration to prevent achy hands. Marin have thoughtfully fitted a handlebar that tapers down to be skinnier than normal at the ends, so it’s more suitable for smaller female hands, and the shift/brake levers come with shims that offer +/– 3mm of adjustment so you can set the controls within easy reach. These little touches make a big difference to your overall ride experience. Tech Specs Price: £625 Weight: 24lb (10.9kg) Frame: 6061 aluminum, full triple-butted hydro Edge II road tubes with E4 anti-flex seatstays and chainstays Fork: RFE Carbon Drivetrain: Shimano Acera shifters and front mech, Shimano Deore rear mech, Shimano Alivio chainset (48/36/26-tooth chainrings), 9-speed cassette Brakes: Forged alloy linear pull Wheels: Alex DC-19 doublewall rims, Formula hubs, Kenda Road tyres Other: Marin women’s Plush dual-density saddle, women’s custom taper double-butted alloy flat handlebar, Marin alloy stem Sizes: 15, 17, 19, 20.5, 22in The Terra Linda offers you a really broad choice of gears. You get a triple chainset from Shimano (in other words, three chainrings at the front) matched up to a nine-speed cassette (nine sprockets at the back). The smallest gears will allow you to crank yourself up the steepest of climbs while, at the other end of the range, the largest are as big as you’ll find on most road bikes, so you can cut loose on the descents. This bike is stable enough for you to feel perfectly safe at speed and the linear pull brakes have all the power you need whether you’re slowing for a tight corner or coming to a complete halt in traffic. One of the biggest advantages a flatbarred road bike has over a mountain bike is that its 700c wheels are lighter and roll easier over Tarmac. You get decent Formula hubs and Alex rims here along with 28mm tyres that provide a good compromise between speed and comfort. They feature a K-Shield puncture protection system too, which is a layer underneath the tread that provides resistance against thorns, Bar ends These are short stones and the like. It’s a useful addition extensions that mount for avoiding roadside repairs. to the either end of the The Terra Linda is swift enough to handlebar to provide you make longer commutes a lot of fun with an alternative hand and it comes with eyelets for fitting position. You can use them mudguards and/or a rack to add even for added leverage during more practicality. It’s equally suited to out-of-the-saddle climbing getting in the miles on weekend rides or just to vary your posture with friends so you’re getting a multiwhen seated. talented performer here. www.marin.co.uk Electra Amsterdam Girard £719.99 Electra set the saddle well behind the pedals and fit sweptback handlebars to put you into an upright riding position with no strain on your body. This model comes with a host of practical features including a lowmaintenance three-speed hub gear and a coaster back brake, and it’s available in a range of attractive finishes. www.electrabike.com Jargon Buster Giant Dash 2 £749.99 The Dash range (starting at £499.99) gives you the control and comfort of a mountain bike but with the nimbleness of a road bike. Each of the bikes is built around the same aluminium frame; this version gets carbon-composite fork legs, a reliable 27-speed Shimano drivetrain and puncture-resistant tyres. www.giant-bicycles.com www.cyclescheme.co.uk 47 Autumn/Winter 2011 Example Package Add safety equipment for the full bike-to-work experience! £69 9.9 9 Ma rin T erra Lind a £34 .49 £59 .99 99 £Po8lar9is S.aprips-hirapeparel.co.uk Kno ww g Boom w.to day er USB scyc list.c o.uk Bell www Arella .mad ison.c o.uk .pola www Total retail price £884.46 Example savings 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. Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. 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). 48 Example Cyclescheme savings for basic and higher rate tax payers Price after savings for basic rate tax payer £601.43 Price after savings for higher rate tax payer £512.99 Higher rate Basic rate 40% Tax, 2% NI 20% Tax, 12% NI Bike package retail price £884.46 Bike package retail price £884.46 Income tax & NI saved £283.03 Income tax & NI saved £371.47 Gross monthly repayments £73.71 Gross monthly repayments £73.71 Net monthly payments £50.12 Net monthly payments £42.75 Total cost of bike package £601.43 Total cost of bike package £512.99 EUA payment £57.71 EUA payment £57.71 Total saving at end of EUA £225.32 Total saving at end of EUA £313.76 End of hire End of hire essentials Autumn/Winter 2011 e kit you just can’t do without… We give you the lowdown on the bik Waterproofs A rainproof jacket is one thing no bike commuter can do without. Here are eight of the most reliable I t rains – that’s a fact of life – so you’ll need to cope with the wet stuff on your commute once in a while. But don’t worry, there are some great waterproof jackets out there these days. Waterproofs made especially for cycling are usually cut slim so they don’t flap about when you’re riding fast. They have a high, close-fitting collar and long arms to keep you covered when you’re stretched out on the bike, and an extra long back to keep spray off your butt – although you might want something that doesn’t look too bikey if you’re thinking of wearing it for general everyday use too. Jargon buster Breathable A good waterproof won’t just keep the rain out, it’ll be breathable too. That means the fabric contains pores that are large enough to let water vapour escape but small enough to stop water droplets getting in. 50 Endura Laser II £47.99 This is a dependable, lightweight jacket that really does keep the rain out. You get drawcords at the collar and hem that you can tighten with just one hand and Velcro adjusters at the wrists. Close them all up to seal yourself inside, or leave them open for extra air conditioning. Reflective piping and shoulder prints provide good visibility from all angles while the entire jacket folds down small enough to fit into its own rear pocket and strap to your bike frame. Available in both men’s and women’s cuts. www.endura.co.uk Madison Telegraphe £84.99 Madison’s clothing is designed for cycling but also for use off the bike, hence the general-purpose cut here. The Telegraphe boasts some impressive technical features including the M:Tec 5000 fabric that’s waterproof, breathable and also tough – it’ll stand up to all the abuse of daily commuting. As well as drawcords at the hem and collar and Velcro adjusters on the cuffs, you get vents under the arms that you can unzip to let lots of cool air in. www.madison.co.uk LEDwear Aurora LED £57 See those eight dots on the chest of this jacket? They’re white LEDs, and you get eight red ones around the back. They’re powered by three AA batteries that live in an internal pocket and they really are super-bright whether in constant or flashing mode. The bright-yellow colour and a generous helping of reflective trim improve visibility further. The Aurora is made from lined polyester with a snug fleecelined collar while zipped side vents allow you to control the climate inside. www.ledwear.co.uk Bontrager Sport Commuter Rainshell £69.99 Essential kit: Waterproofs The Commuter Rainshell is made from waterproof and breathable nylon with a mesh liner while zipped underarm vents improve the airflow when you open them up. The cut is semi-fitted so go for a size higher than usual if you want it roomy. The high neck is lined with soft fleece fabric and 360° reflective trim helps with visibility. www.bontrager.com Surface Pertex windcheater £49.99 This jacket is wind resistant and showerproof rather than fully waterproof, but the advantage of Pertex is that it’s highly breathable so things don’t easily get too humid inside. The full front zip is backed by a stormflap, stretchy internal cuffs stop cold air getting up the sleeves and the whole thing packs into its own pocket. www.cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk Altura Night Vision Evo £99.99 Designed specifically for commuters, the Night Vision lives up to its name with loads of reflective print all-round and an LED fibre optic strip that attaches securely to the lower back and gets you noticed in the dark. The jacket is available in a bright yellow version too for even more visibility in low-light conditions. It’s made from polyester with well-sealed seams. The zips are waterproof too while a mesh lining adds extra comfort. Pricey, but worth the money. www.zyro.co.uk Polaris Sapphire £89.99 The Sapphire is a women’s jacket made from waterproof and breathable Hydrovent Active fabric. A mesh liner means it feels comfortable over short sleeves while the hem, cuffs and collar are all fully adjustable so you can finetune them according to the conditions. You get two front pockets and a rollaway hood, and reflective print details provide nighttime safety. www.polaris-apparel.co.uk Mavic Vision H2O £107.99 This is the sportiest jacket here, coming in a slim, athletic cut so it doesn’t flap. The nylon fabric is fully waterproof and all the seams are neatly sealed to stop rain seeping through. The orange colour is hugely visible even in dull light conditions while loads of reflective striping gets you seen at night. www.mavic.com www.cyclescheme.co.uk 51 Autumn/Winter 2011 in detail... Bike test The head tube is slightly extended for a more upright and comfortable ride position Shimano’s Sora components provide a wide spread of gears and reliable shifting Other rated rides... Specialized Allez 16 £559.99 One of the most popular bikes out there, the Allez delivers year after year. The A1 Premium aluminium frame is neat and distinctive while carbon fork legs keep the weight down. Specialized’s attention to detail, represented in the comfy Body Geometry saddle and puncture-resistant tyres, help separate this one from the crowd. www.specialized.com 52 Cannondale CAAD8 Sora £699.99 Cannondale have always made excellent aluminium frames and this one is about as light as you’ll get for the money. The fork comes with carbon blades and Shimano’s Sora components are both strong and capable. You can choose between either two or three chainrings according to the gearing you’d like. www.cannondale.com On test... Merida Road Ride 91 £749.99 If you want a sporty road bike for commuting that you can also use for long rides in the country at the weekend, this Merida has a lot to offer for the money T he Merida Road Ride 91 is designed for speed and also for comfort. With a more upright riding position than usual, plenty of stability and some flexibility engineered in, it’s a smooth-running bike that’s suitable for everyday riding. The Road Ride 91 is made from hydroformed alloy which means that high-pressure fluid has been used in the manufacturing process to shape the tubes. The result is a frame that has material where it’s necessary for strength but no excess where it’s not needed, keeping the overall weight low. The matching fork that plugs in up front comes with carbon blades, again helping to save the grams. The traditional road riding position is low and stretched, with your head down and your upper body flat. That’s what you get on Merida’s carbon race bikes, for example. But here they have chopped some length off the top tube and added a bit onto the head tube. That moves the handlebars upwards and back towards the saddle so you don’t have to reach as far, meaning that you sit more upright that normal. The broad range of gears should get you up most steep climbs without trouble The benefit is that this puts less strain on your back so you can stay comfortable. The longer the ride, the more likely you are to appreciate that. FSA’s compact handlebar helps here too. It doesn’t drop down as much as most so even when you position your hands on the lower sections, your body position isn’t extreme. The other advantage of a more upright ride position is that you get a better view of the road ahead with Wilier Escape Xenon £799.99 Tech Specs Price: £749.99 Weight: 20.7lb (9.4kg) Frame: Ride Speed-Single aluminium alloy Fork: Road CF-S Drivetrain: Shimano Sort shifters, chainset (50/43-tooth chainring) and mechs, 9-speed cassette Brakes: Shimano Sora Wheels: Alex Race24 rims, Shimano 2200 hubs, Maxxis Detonator tyres Other: X-Mission Side-2 saddle, FSA Vero Compact OS handlebar, X-Mission Comp Lite stem Sizes: 44, 47, 50, 52, 54, 56, 59cm your head held higher, and that’s especially useful when you’re negotiating traffic. Merida have added more comfort by keeping the seatstays, chainstays and seatpost skinny so that they all flex just a touch as you ride. They’ve gone with 25mm tyres too rather than the usual 23s to absorb road bumps better. You don’t get eyelets for fitting mudguards or racks here so the Ride 91 is most suitable for those who like to travel light. Lots of people choose a road bike because of its speed and carry everything they need for the day at work in a bag on their back. It’ll all depend on how much stuff you need to take with you. Most of the key equipment comes from Shimano’s Sora range. It’s reliable kit designed primarily for sport-recreation use. You get a compact chainset here linked up to a nine-speed cassette (the sprockets attached to the hub of the rear wheel), giving you a broad range of gears that should get you up most steep climbs without too much trouble. Shifting between gears is easy enough too whether your hands are Compact chainset resting on the drops or perched on top A compact chainset has of the levers – you just push a thumb smaller chainrings than lever or move the brake lever sideways, usual. Rather than two depending on which direction you chainrings of 52-teeth and want to shift. A little display on top of 39-teeth, say, a compact each shifter tells you which gear you’re chainset usually has 50 and currently in, which makes life a little bit 34. This gives you smaller simpler, and you can adjust the reach to gears, so pedalling uphill the brake lever with shims if you have becomes easier. smaller hands. www.merida-bikes.com The entry-level model in Wilier’s range, the Escape comes with a lightweight aluminium frame and a carbon/alloy fork. Unusually at this price, you get a 10-speed Xenon groupset from prestigious Italian marque Campagnolo. Branded components from the likes of Miche, Ritchey and Selle Italia guarantee a high-end, race-inspired performance. www.wilierbikes.co.uk Jargon Buster Cube Peloton £849 Cube have designed the Peloton for riders who want to enjoy themselves while getting fit so they’ve made the ride position a little more upright than on their full-on race bikes. The aluminium frame has been double butted to save weight while Shimano’s Tiagra groupset components are much sleeker than entry-level options. www.cube.eu www.cyclescheme.co.uk 53 Autumn/Winter 2011 Example Package Add safety equipment for the full bike-to-work experience! £749.9 9 Ride 9 Merida Road 1 £44 .99 Alpin www a Vecto .meri r da.co m .99tiff o.uk £O6ng4uar.tdoMdaaysscyclist.c e Flar £E8xpo5surexpFolasushre/lights.com w ww .e www Total retail price £944.97 Example savings 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. Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. 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). 54 Example Cyclescheme savings for basic and higher rate tax payers Price after savings for basic rate tax payer £642.58 Price after savings for higher rate tax payer £548.08 Higher rate Basic rate 40% Tax, 2% NI 20% Tax, 12% NI Bike package retail price £944.97 Bike package retail price £944.97 Income tax & NI saved £302.39 Income tax & NI saved £396.89 Gross monthly repayments £78.75 Gross monthly repayments £78.75 Net monthly payments £53.55 Net monthly payments £45.67 Total cost of bike package £642.58 Total cost of bike package £548.08 EUA payment £62.99 EUA payment £62.99 Total saving at end of EUA £239.40 Total saving at end of EUA £333.90 End of hire End of hire essentials Essential kit: High-visibility kit e kit you just can’t do without… We give you the lowdown on the bik High-visibility kit Stay safe in traffic with our selection of the best products to get you noticed T he more visible you are when you’re cycling, the better – it’s as simple as that. And fortunately, there are loads of different products out there to help make sure you’re seen on the road. Many cycling clothes come in high-visibility colour options. As well as those here, there are a few high vis waterproofs on pages 50-51. They really stand out in dull conditions. Reflective strips are fantastic at night. Even small patches of reflective material are incredibly noticeable in car headlights. Combine bright colours with some reflective trim and you’re onto a winner. Jargon buster 3M Scotchlite This is a brand of reflective materials that you’ll find on many cycling products, and it’s used for loads of other applications too. 3M Scotchlite isn’t especially visible in daylight but it’ll show up brightly to motorists at night. Proviz Light Emitting High Visibility Vest £35.99 Designed to be worn over the top of your cycling or everyday clothes, the really clever feature of this Proviz vest is that the stripes over the shoulders actually give off light. They’re linked up to two little batteries that sit inside and they glow blue to get you seen in traffic. The vest is already super-bright thanks to the intense yellow and orange panels and reflective tape around the body so you really will stand out in this. www.todayscyclist.co.uk Polaris RBS Hoolie Gloves £27.99 RBS stands for ‘Really Bright Stuff’ and you can’t argue with that: the vivid yellow shines out in dull light while the reflective print on the backs of these gloves makes your intentions clear when you signal at night. They’re windproof and a Velcro wrist tab allows you to adjust the cuff to stop any cold air getting in there. Gel padding adds to the comfort and you get silicon print on the fingers and palms for extra grip on wet handlebars. www.polaris-apparel.co.uk Respro Hi-Viz Reflective Camouflage Sticker Kit £12.99 These stickers are made from silver 3T Scotchlite material so they’re highly reflective when car headlights shine on them. You get an A4 sheet of various different sizes and shapes and you can stick them to your bike, bag, cycle helmet, or anything else you can think of to boost your presence on the road at night. www.madison.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk 57 Autumn/Winter 2011 Polaris RBS Jacket £37.99 This fluorescent jacket comes with plenty of reflective trim at the front and rear and also on the arms so you’ll be seen from all angles at night. The micro-polyester fabric is windproof meaning that the warm air your body generates stays inside while the elasticated waist and cuffs prevent any draughts. The zipped rear pocket comes in handy for carrying all your ride essentials and the whole thing packs down small enough to fit comfortably in a jersey pocket. www.polaris-apparel.co.uk Lightweights Power Reflectors For Clothing £13.99 You get 60 little circles and ovals here made from 3M reflective material that you can stick to your clothing, saddle and so on. They’re lightweight, thin and very stretchy and you can iron them onto most fabrics so securely that they’ll stay in place through the washing machine. A very versatile way of improving your visibility at night. www.raleigh.co.uk Respro Hi Viz Nightsight Ankle Bands £15.99 Wearing ankle bands is an excellent way to get yourself seen on the road; the movement as you pedal is impossible to ignore. Plus, they have the added benefit of stopping loose trousers flapping around and getting caught in your chain. These ones are made from soft and stretchy neoprene and the Velcro closure makes them quick to get on and off. You can wear the DayGlo yellow side outwards for daytime visibility and show the 3M Scotchlite side for reflectivity at night. www.madison.co.uk Raleigh Sam Browne Reflective Belt £20.49 Lightweight and easy to store in a pocket or bag, this high-visibility belt is made from wellproven Reflexite material. You can easily adjust the lengths of both the waist and the sash sections, and a chunky push buckle fastening holds it securely in place. Simple but effective visibility at a reasonable price. www.raleigh.co.uk 58 Autumn/Winter 2011 My life on bikes: Gabby Logan TV presenter Gabby Logan reveals why cycling is an important part of her lifeâ€Ś Fact File Gabby Logan Lives: London Occupation: TV and radio presenter About: Gabby is a TV presenter for BBC Sport and has fronted shows including Match of the Day, Inside Sport and coverage of the Olympic Games. She has also taken part in Strictly Come Dancing and currently presents The Wright Stuff Extra every weekday on Channel 5. 60 My life on bikes How often do you get to ride a bike? I used to cycle with the kids to school every day but I do a daily show on Channel 5 now and I have to leave early, so that’s not possible. I still cycle to pick them up from school two or three times a week. I can’t remember when I first started to ride a bike but I’ve ridden more in the past few years. I have a hybrid bike and I have a racing bike that I’ll use for things like the Palace to Palace ride. It’s from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle and it’s to raise money for the Prince’s Trust. I’ve been busy work-wise and haven’t been able to go out on as many rides as I’d like to prepare, but I think I’ll be alright. Do you ride with your family? My kids are six so I can’t go out for rides with them on my racing bike yet, but we’ll all go out on a family ride together at the weekend and I’ll ride my hybrid. We’ll go out for a couple of hours including a stop for a drink or something. It’s for fun but to encourage them to exercise as well. Are the fitness benefits of cycling important to you? When I go out individually it’s more about exercise. I enjoy the freedom and the fact that you can cover so much distance and see so much compared to running. Cycling feels easier than running, not in the sense of how much exercise you’re getting, but because it’s so much more enjoyable. What do you think are the best things about cycling? Cycling is a good form of exercise because you don’t have the impact on your joints that you get from running. That means it’s something you can just keep doing for the rest of your life. I saw a couple out cycling the other day who must have been in their seventies and they were going quite hard. It’s sociable too. If you go out with a group of people you can stop and have a drink and then go on again. And you can see so much if you’re on your bike for an hour or so. You’re an ambassador for Cycletta which organises women’s bike rides. Why did you decide to get involved? They asked me whether I’d endorse that cycling is good and fun. For me, that is what it is all about. The idea is to encourage more women to cycle and I’m more than happy to do that. Do you have any cycling tips you can pass on? I think a lot of people are scared of using cycling shoes and clipping into their pedals but it makes a world of difference to the way you cycle when you do use them. People are nervous of falling off but I was okay even the first time I went out with them. I’ve been using them for two years now. Is there anything you’d say to someone thinking about taking up cycling for the first time, or getting back into the saddle after a while away? Maybe borrow a bike from somebody for a while to begin with, just to work out how much you’d like to invest in a bike yourself. I have friends who have started cycling again and they’ve ended up buying three bikes in a year. They buy a low-price one to start with, then they realise that they enjoy it and wish they’d spent a bit more so they buy a better one, then they get really into it and want a better one again. So if you have a friend with a spare bike, borrow that for a bit as you get back into cycling. Once you start doing a few journeys a week on a bike you’ll realise how easy it is. For more information on Cycletta’s women-only bike rides go to www.cycletta.co.uk. www.cyclescheme.co.uk 61 R7: FAST URBAN SERIES TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR JOURNEY R7 www.whytebikes.co.uk Our unique geometry balances precise steering control with stability â€“ a perfect combination for life in the fast lane. The frames are mountain-bike tough, to cope with the rigours of the daily commute and super-comfortable so you arrive at work invigorated for the day ahead. Your Power, Plus FX+ Your world, now available by electric bicycle. To experience how the electrified ride of Trekâ€™s Ride+ bicycles can transform your life, stop by a participating Ride+ dealer. trekbikes.com/ride+