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THE CYCLING LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

WIN Bicycles for whole family How to buy the perfect bike 10 scenic ride routes Cycle fashion Fix that flat issue 01 | free

www.bikeradar.com

20 reasons why cycling will improve the way you live

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Let's get out there/

Contents Life Cycle

C

Welcome

ycling is the really simple way to achieve health and fitness benefits, save money, help the environment and what's more it's loads of fun! Increasing amounts of us Britons are spending more time on two wheels than ever before – over two million new cyclists took to the roads in 2011. With more people riding, we're seeing better provision for cyclists. Whether it be new traffic-free routes, additional city bike hire schemes, improved road layouts, or simply increasing amounts of considerate drivers, it's all good news for us!

Richard Owen Editor

Editor Richard Owen richard.owen@futurenet.com 01225 822737

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08 06 12 16

Bikes & Gear

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24

18

RIDE WEAR

Look and feel good in the saddle

24

HELMETS

Eight ways to protect your head

29

THE BIKES

Bicycles for every kind of rider

21

CYCLE ESSENTIALS

Must-have bike bits

Cycle Know-how 26

james.hamilton@futurenet.com 01225 732311

BUYING GUIDE

How to buy your perfect bike

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42

MAPS AND RIDES

Ten routes for you to try

42

Group Publishing Director Richard Schofield

RIDE NUTRITION

Stay nourished on your ride

34

Future Publishing Ltd, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath, BA1 2BW

Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR) www.futureplc.com

9000

CASUAL WEAR

Fashion with bike-friendly features

Advertising

Š Future Publishing Limited 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. The registered office of Future Publishing Limited is at Beauford Court, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 2BW. All information contained in this magazine is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. Readers are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this magazine. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage.

COMPETITION

Win bikes for the whole family

James Hamilton

Chief Executive Mark Wood Non-executive Chairman Peter Allen Group Finance Director Graham Harding Tel +44 (0)207 042 4000 (London) Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244 (Bath)

CYCLE CELEBRITY

Countyfile's Ellie Harrison

Simon Withers, Jesse Wild, James Looker, Dave Caudery, Simon Lees, Grant Robinson, Robert M Ball, The Artworks

Publishing

REAL RIDERS

Meet cyclists just like you

Art Editor Carl Milligan Contributors Cormac Jordan, Andrew Leung,

Group Art Editor Matthew Hunkin Creative Director Robin Abbott Editorial Director Jim Douglas Publisher Dave Clutterbuck

LIFE IS FOR RIDING

20 reasons to get on your bike

44 46

29

FIX THAT PUNCTURE

Flats fixed the easy way

WHERE ELSE TO GO

Want to take your cycling further?

On the Cover Riders Mike Smith, Wiesia Kuczaj Bikes Ridgeback Flight 02,Saracen Urban X1 Photo Grant Robinson

01 | ON YOUR BIKE

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Life Cycle

\ Riding news and more

ILLUSTRATION: ROBERT M BALL THE ARTWORKS

EATYOURSELFQUICKER

Go faster food As a general rule, cyclists should aim to eat a diet consisting of around 60% carbohydrates – for energy, 20% protein – for muscle strength and repair and 20% unsaturated fats – to promote cardiovascular health. Use the rule of thirds and divide a 10-inch plate up equally between a starchy food e.g. boiled potatoes, salad or vegetables, and meat, fish or a vegetarian protein.

million

Of the UK population are regular* cyclists *c

Welsh Bike Routes get the Green Light

8.3

a month or mor nce e go lin yc

FORWARDTHINKING

Wales leads the way with a national traffic-free route plan The cycling and walking experience is about to get a whole lot better for at least one part of the United Kingdom. A network of traffic-free pedestrian and cycle routes connecting hospitals, schools and shopping centres will be built throughout Wales. The Active Travel bill will make it a legal requirement for local councils to provide provision to cycle or walk short journeys away from motorised traffic. The bill received a warm reception from Welsh Assembly ministers and is expected to pass into law in 2013.

FEMALE-FRIENDLY

Ride the Breeze

Want to share your passion for cycling with other women, or join fellow females on relaxed rides? Then check out Breeze A sticky (www.goskyride.com/breeze) to find solution out about Breeze rides and events in From broken drivetrains to nasty tear punctures, your area. Breeze also campaigns to a small length of duct make cycling more accessible to tape will get you home women through hire schemes, after many a mishap female-friendly bike shops and more.

6

5SONGSABOUTCYCLING*

TRACK LIST Tour de France – Kraftwerk Red Hot Chili Peppers - Bicyclesong Ride the Iron Horse – BMX Bandits Pedalpusher – Stereophonics My Kind of Guy – Kaiser Chiefs

*Not including Bicycle Race by Queen – it’s way too obvious.

TOPCYCLINGAPPS BIKE HUB

Works with iOS, Android Discover low-traffic or notraffic cycling routes, as well as nearby bike shops | Price Free

STRAVA

Works with iOS, Android Allows you to map your rides and rank your best section times against other riders | Price Free

BIKE DOCTOR

Works with iOS, Android Diagnose and cure almost any ailment that could befall your trusty iron horse | Price £3

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 01

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Riding news and more /

Life Cycle

TOP TIPS FOR A HAPPY BIKE

Give your bike a bit of love now and again and it will return it in spades.

Real Riders A mother turned trans-Euro rider, and the lorry driver who swapped eighteen wheels for two

Age 41 Location Bath Work Ad manager and mother of two Years riding 10 months! Bike Focus Cayo Evo 1

Matthew Rush Age 43 Location Sheffield Work Community liaison officer Years riding 20 years Bike Focus Planet 11

I started riding last September, when Cycling has been my main means of I bought a bright pink Brompton transport for about seven years. folding bike through the Cycle to I wanted to lose weight, get fitter, Work scheme. Cycling cut down save money and burn less fossil fuel, my daily commute from 20 minutes so cycling to work was the thing that by car, to 10 minutes by bike, and ticked all those boxes. I save money! As I got fitter and more confident, I Fitting in cycle training, work and started doing 20 to 30 mile leisure my family is tricky, but my husband rides in the Peak District, then built is great and looks after the children up to longer cycle tours. Last year I when I’m out on my bike. The state of cycled the route of the River Rhine, the house is the thing that suffers, starting in Cologne and riding to which is hard as I don’t like to let Switzerland. It was 380 miles in all, standards slip. which took me a week to complete. The cycle set-up is really good over Despite not having ever ridden a road there, for most of the tour I was able bike until January, I have just to ride on traffic-free routes, with completed a ride from London to campsites positioned close by. Paris. It was incredibly challenging I drove HGV lorries part-time when I both physically and mentally, long was at university. As a lorry driver days in the saddle and the weather on you are motivated by a different set day two was hideous! The support of rules and you just see cyclists as an given from the Hot Chillee team was obstacle slowing you down, rather amazing and arriving in Paris on than a fellow traveller. closed roads was unbelievable! A good HGV driver should take I already wish I could do it all again! special notice of cyclists, but as there Apart from running after the kids, are lots of big blind spots on a wagon, I didn’t do any exercise until I began cyclists can easily disappear from cycling. Since then, I’ve toned up, I’m healthier, fitter and feel stronger. I’m view. My top tip for cyclists is to finally losing the babyweight I’ve make eye contact with drivers, so carried for five years since my they register that you are a daughter was born! another human being. I smile Bicycle? I love the feeling of cycling. at bus and lorry drivers when The first commercially successful, two-wheeled, Away from the stresses of stopping at lights, and I’m human-propelled riding everyday life. I feel strong, convinced that they give me machine was made in fit and completely free. more consideration because 1818. It was known as a of this. velocipede

SQUEAKY CLEAN

Keep your chain well-lubed and free from gunge.

.

WHEELIE GOOD

Ensure your wheels are true and check for any loose spokes.

RUBBER SOUL

Regularly check your tyres for embedded thorns, stones and glass. ILLUSTRATION: ANTHONY CALVERT

Claire Hawkins

7

UNDER PRESSURE

Keep your tyres fully inflated. Check the tyre wall for the max pressure. CYCLE KNOW-HOW If unsure, get

advice at your local bike shop!

ISSUE 01 | ON YOUR BIKE

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Life Cycle

\ Life is for riding

Reasons to Ride 1 | GO GREENER

Walking and cycling much more for local journeys would reduce both emissions and our dependence on oil. Nearly a quarter of the UK’s CO2 emissions come from road transport, and this figure is expected to grow. Transport is on its way to overtaking industry as the major contributor to CO2 emissions in the UK and private motor vehicles generate nearly 43 per cent of carbon emissions from transport.

2 | RIDE EVERYWHERE

23 per cent of car trips are less than two miles (a distance easily cycled in 15 minutes) and 56 per cent are less than five miles, so there are plenty of opportunities

for increased cycling. Huzzah!

3 | BEAT THE TAXMAN

Since 2005, more than 100,000 people have benefited from the Cycle to Work scheme – the government’s tax-free bike initiative!

4 | CUT YOUR COSTS

London Travelcard, zones one and two: nearly £30 a week. Park and ride bus fare: £50 a month. Cost of running a second car: over £7,000 a year (based on a £10,000 car driving 10,000 miles). With cycling you can slash those travel costs as well as saving money on gym membership.

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PHOTO: © MOTOFISH IMAGES/CORBIS

5 | GET TO WORK FASTER

Above: Riding to work can be quicker, cheaper, healthier, greener and leave you looking younger

Not only is cycling to work cheaper and greener than the alternatives, if you commute by bike in the UK’s major cities you’ll get to work in half the time of cars, according to research by Citroën. In fact, if you drive for an hour in Cardiff’s rush hour, you’ll average just 7mph, compared to averaging around 12-15mph while cycling.

6 | SLEEP MORE DEEPLY

Stanford University School of Medicine researchers asked insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day. The result? The time that the insomniacs took to fall asleep was reduced by half, and the time they spent asleep increased by almost an hour. “Exercising outside exposes you to daylight,” explains Professor Jim Horne from Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre. “This helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync and rids your body of cortisol, the stress hormone that can prevent deep, regenerative sleep.”

7 | LOOK YOUNGER

The Stanford University boffins have also found that cycling regularly can protect your skin against the harmful effects of ultra violet (UV) radiation and reduce the signs of ageing. Don’t forget to slap on the factor 30 before you head out, though.

8 | INCREASE YOUR BRAIN POWER

Researchers from Illinois University found that a five per cent improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 per cent in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps to build

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 01

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PHOTO: GEOFF WAUGH

Cycling won’t just help your bank balance – it can improve your health and minimise your impact on the environment too. Here are some of the best reasons to get out on your bike

Life Cycle

PHOTO: GEOFF WAUGH

Life is for riding /

new brain cells in the hippocampus – the region that’s responsible for memory. “It boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which fires and regenerates receptors, explaining how exercise helps ward off Alzheimer’s,” says the study’s author, Professor Arthur Kramer.

only raised during a ride, but also for several hours afterwards. “Even after cycling for 30 minutes, you could be burning a higher amount of total calories for a few hours after you stop,” says sports physiologist Mark Simpson of Loughborough University.

9 | BURN MORE FAT

10 | BEAT ILLNESS

Sports physiologists have discovered that the body’s metabolic rate – the efficiency with which it burns calories and fat – is not

Find your local ride at www.goskyride.com

OYB01.reasons.indd 9

Forget apples, riding is the way to keep the doctor at bay. “Moderate exercise makes immune cells more active, so they’re ready

to fight off infection,” says Cath Collins, dietician at St George’s Hospital in London. 9

11 | AVOID POLLUTION

You’d think a city cyclist would suck up much more pollution than the drivers and passengers in the vehicles chucking out the noxious gases. Not so, according to a study carried out by Imperial College London. Researchers found that passengers in buses, taxis and cars inhaled substantially more pollution than cyclists and pedestrians!

ISSUE 01 | ON YOUR BIKE

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Life Cycle

\ Life is for riding

17 | SAVE THE PLANET

It takes around five per cent of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike, and a bike produces zero pollution!

12 | IT’S GOOD BREEDING

A ‘bun in the oven’ could benefit from your riding as much as you. Research from Michigan University, shows mums-to-be who exercise regularly during pregnancy have an easier and less complicated labour, recover faster and enjoy better mood throughout the nine months. Your baby also has a 50 per cent lower chance of becoming obese and enjoys better in-utero neurodevelopment. “There’s no doubt that exercise such as cycling during pregnancy helps to condition the mother and protect the foetus,” says Patrick O’Brien, a spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

13 | HEAL YOUR HEART

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Studies from Purdue University in the US have shown that regular cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by half. And, according to the BHF, around 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be avoided each year if people kept fitter. Cycling just 20 miles a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those who take no exercise, it says.

14 | IMPROVE YOUR SEX LIFE

Being physically active improves your vascular health – which boosts your

sex drive, according to experts in the US. A study from Cornell University concluded that male athletes have the sexual prowess of men two to five years younger, with physically fit women delaying the menopause by a similar length of time.

15 | BOOST YOUR BELLOWS

While cycling, an adult generally uses 10 times the oxygen they would need to sit in front of the TV for the same period. Even better, regular cycling will help strengthen your cardiovascular system, enabling your heart and lungs to work more efficiently and getting more oxygen where it’s needed, quicker. This means you can do more exercise for less effort. Sound good?

16 | YOUR BOSS WILL LOVE YOU

No, we don’t mean that your Lycra-clad buttocks will entice your superiors into an office romance. A study of 200 people carried out by the University of Bristol found that employees who exercised before work or at lunchtime improved their time and workload management. Not only that, it was also found to boost their motivation and their ability to deal with stress!

Above: Cycling is good for your heart, lungs... and your sex life Below: Spend more time with your family and have healthier kids. Cycling's great!

Cycling is an activity the whole family can do together. The smallest tyke can clamber into a bike seat or tow-along buggy, and there’s nothing to stop grandparents joining in, too. Studies have found that, unsurprisingly, kids are influenced by their parents’ exercise choices. Put simply, if your kids see you riding regularly, they’ll think it’s normal and want to follow your example!

19 | LIVE LONGER

King’s College London compared over 2,400 identical twins and found that those who did the equivalent of three 45-minute rides a week were nine years ‘biologically younger’.

20 | HELP OTHERS

Many cyclists turn their health, fitness and determination into fund-raising efforts for the less fortunate. The London to Brighton bike ride has raised over £40 million for the British Heart Foundation since 1980, and countless other rides contribute to worthy causes.

PHOTO: STEVE BEHR/STOCKFILE

PHOTO: DAN MILNER

18 | ENJOY HEALTHY FAMILY TIME

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 01

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>> | SCOTT-SPORTS.COM

GET FIT HAVE FUN RIDE YOUR BIKE

We’ve got a range of bikes for everyone this summer.

FIND YOUR NEAREST SCOTT STOCKIST, VISIT OUR DEALER LOCATOR. www.scott-sports.com/dealers/locator © SCOTT SPORTS SA 2012

Life Cycle

\ Ellie Harrison

Why do they always put pastel colours on girls' kit?” Countryfile's Ellie Harrison on her love of cycling, fitting in riding around her kids and other TV cycling celebrities

I

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started cycling when I was about 21, but now I’ve been cycling for the past six years. My first bike was a Raleigh with a back pedal coaster brake, we lived at the top of a steep hill and one day I decided to ride down it freewheeling from top to bottom, I ended up going straight into a wall at the bottom and had this gorgeous scab right across my face for weeks. I cycled as a way of commuting in London for a while. It was a 100 per cent ‘yes’ from people in London who’d had a run-in with motorists which was quite nerve-racking, but it makes that enormous city so much smaller by bike and you’re not beholden to the tube, which is a real relief. I’ve had a Specialized Dolce for five or six years with as little pink as I could get on it – it’s got a teeny piece of pink – and I really like it. Why do they always put pastel colours on girls’ kit? Road riding is my thing. In 2008-9 we lived in New York and did a lot of riding Upstate in the massive expanses, putting in good distances. I had my first fall on SPD pedals there – you only ever do that once! Cycling appeals to me as a way to explore the outdoors because you can go much further distances than you can on foot. It’s a silent way of gliding through the countryside, and great for seeing birdlife. It’s a great geographer’s mode of transport. Cycling fits in well around my working life, but less well around my family life, as I’ve got two really young kids. Getting the chance to go out is now a total luxury which I take whenever I can, as I don’t really get the big days out any more. I’m friends with Chris Beardshaw the TV gardener – and he’s doing a massive race this year, 500 miles or

something. He’s looking super-skinny from all this training – he’s my only celebrity cycling buddy. I don’t think any of the Countryfile crew ride though. I’m the ‘Countryfile Cyclist’ dammit! It’s my title! I live and ride in the Stroud Valley now, which is great. There's lots of 1in7 climbs, so plenty of lung-busting short, sharp shocks – it’s rare to have more than a few minutes on the flat here. I’m hoping to do the Etape next year, I want to complete it in a good way – not just bumble up there! The plan is to complete some training rides in France, before riding the real thing. Ellie Harrison Presenter, geographer, naturalist and mother Ellie is best known as member of the BBC Countryfile team. She has also appeared on the ONE Show, Wild About Your Garden and many others.

Quickfire Q&A MOST LIKE TO RIDE WITH

Pro riders, Lance Armstrong or Chris Hoy. I’d get loaded up with so many top cycling tips.

FAVOURITE PLACE TO CYCLE

Upstate New York – such different scenery, such amazing landscapes.

BEST THING ABOUT CYCLING

Feels like it’s just you and your bike and you can go enormous distances, without relying on petrol or massive amounts of kit. It’s the freedom, the time away, the head space. Walking’s great, but the landscape doesn’t change very quickly – cycling, you really get to suck it up at the right pace.

RIDING ADVICE

Try to avoid wearing any flappy trouser legs, but you don’t have to be fully decked out in Lycra from head to toe!

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 01

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YEPP Childseats are designed to keep your child safe & love their ride with you Front seat

Rear seat

SAFTEY - 5 points harness with user friendly buckle safely secures the child to the seat COMFORT - Flexible rubber foam material acts as a shock absorber & makes for a

very comfortable ride

EASY TO USE - Quick and simple to snap into place and detach

- Light weight and easy to clean AWARD WINNING DESIGNS -

Dutch Design Award 2009 Winner 2009

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Gear

\ Look good on and off your bike

Bike Casual Street fashion with covert cycle-centric features

SPD-u-like SPD – ’Shimano Pedalling Dynamics’ – uses metal cleats recessed in the soles of shoes which clip in to dedicated pedals for efficient riding

TOP DOWN: PHONE IN SICK T-SHIRT Morvelo Loads of different bike-friendly tees in a huge range of styles and colours. £22 www.morvelo.com | BIKE FORMULA T-SHIRT Howies Heavyweight 100 per cent organic cotton (which costs more to produce) and new monthly designs. £25 www.howies. co.uk | RIDE EVERYTHING T-SHIRT Morvelo Huge range of designs and colours. £22 www.morvelo.com

1 AQUAPHOBIC JACKET Surface Is this the most stylish waterproof jacket ever? £119.99 www. surface-clothing.com 2 WINDPROOF SHIRT Rapha Subtly styled shirt that’s both windproof and showerproof. £130 www.rapha.cc 3 JEANS Rapha Fast drying, stretchable and they sport a reflective logo inside the right leg. £130 www. rapha.cc 4 DISTRICT SHOES DZR Wear on and off your bike. SPD pedal-compatible. £75 www.alwaysriding.co.uk

5 BOLTED VINNY DIRT T-SHIRT Fox Heavyweight tee sporting the iconic Fox logo. £24.99 www.foxeurope.com 6 MTB SOFTSHELL Bontrager Snug fitting, windproof and showerproof £89.99 www.bontrager.com 7 3/4 LENGTH SHORTS Rapha Slim fit, breathable, with a reinforced seat panel for durability. £120 www.rapha.cc 8 ONCORE 6.0 Nike Feature a stiff and grippy sole that works very well with flat pedals. £55 www.nike.com

d’Azur Weekender bag Basil Waterrepellent, reflective tape, 23 litre, and panniercompatible. £79.99 www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk

FLIPFLIP Soho London If full hi-viz isn’t for you, this eyecatching pocket flap is a clever alternative. Price £16.95 www.flipflip.co.uk

L-R: AERATOR Defeet £7.99 www.i-ride.co.uk | ARGYLL Endura £12.99 www.endura.co.uk | SUMMER CITY Rapha £15 www.rapha.cc

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ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 01

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Look good on and off your bike /

Gear

9 SILK SCARF Rapha Moisture resistant luxury. £50 www.rapha.cc 10 B IS FOR BIKE T-SHIRT Howies Slim fitting and organic. £25 www.howies.co.uk 11 COMMUTING JACKET Bontrager Stretch-woven, windproof fabric and reflective highlights. £59.99 www.bontrager.com 12 BOYFRIEND SHORTS Scott Sports Designed for a ride fit. £55 www.scott-sports.com 13 TOSCA SHOES DZR Leather/herringbone upper, SPD-compatible sole £99 alwaysriding.co.uk

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GILMAN GLOVES Giro Stretchable backs and silicone palm grips make for a grippy, well fitting glove £29.99 www.madison.co.uk

URBAN X1 BICYCLE Saracen £369 www.saracen.co.uk | LONG SLEEVE TOP Rapha £130 www.rapha.cc | SHORTS Rapha £130 www.rapha.cc | BOW-PEEP GLOVES Ana Nichoola £24.99 www.ananichoola.co.uk | JETLAG SHOES DZR £79.99 www.alwaysriding.co.uk

ISSUE 01 | ON YOUR BIKE

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Life cycle

\ Competition

WIN BIKES for the whole family We're giving away a family set of four Saracen bikes and Giro helmets*

We’ve teamed up with Madison, Saracen and Giro to bring you a fantastic prize! One winner will get a set of four bikes and helmets so the whole family can enjoy the benefits and pleasures of cycling together. The Saracen Tufftrax is a great entry-level bike, and recently won best bike under £300 in MBUK Magazine. It features lightweight alloy tubing, Suntour 63mm travel forks and a Shimano groupset. We have a men's, ladies' and jnr model of the Tufftrax to give away, along with a Saracen Spice (for the youngest rider in the family) to complete the set. If that wasn't enough, we're also giving away Giro helmet to go with each bike.

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To enter, answer this simple question: Q Which of these materials is typically not used to make bikes? A Steel B Carbon C Polystyrene Text your answer to 87474. Tap in ONYOURBIKE followed by A, B or C and then your name and email address. Texts cost £1 plus your standard network rate. You can also enter online at www.futurecomps.co.uk/oybfamily. If you don’t want to receive offers or promotions from Madison, Saracen, or Giro include ‘NO INFO’ at the end of your text. The closing date for entries is 1st October 2012. Good luck!

By taking part in a Competition, you agree to be bound by the Competition Rules which are summarised below but can be viewed in full at www.futuretcs.com. Late or incomplete entries will be disqualified. Entries must be submitted by an individual (not via any agency or similar) and, unless otherwise stated, are limited to one per household. The Company reserves the right in its sole discretion to substitute any prize with cash or a prize of comparable value. The Competition is open to all GB residents of 18 years and over, except employees of Future Publishing and any party involved in the competition or their households By entering a Competition you give permission to use your name, likeness and personal information in connection with the Competition and for promotional purposes. All entries will become the property of the Company upon receipt and will not be returned. If you are a winner, you may have to provide additional information. Details of winners will be available on request within three months of the closing date. If you are a winner, receipt by you of any prize is conditional upon you complying with (amongst other things) the Competition Rules. You acknowledge and agree that neither the Company nor any associated third parties shall have any liability to you in connection with your use and/or possession of your prize. The Editor's decision is final. * Helmet model shown for illustration purposes only

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 01

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Gear

\ Performance cycle wear

Bike Tech Ride apparel designed to look and feel good

Lycra Lycra gear is designed to feel good while riding. A pair of Lycra shorts will prevent the discomfort of your regular pants riding up around your crotch

1 MILANO EVO JERSEY Ride Packed with features and a great price. £26.99 www.ridebosh. com 2 ZAP JACKET Sugoi Light, reflective and packable £70 cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk 3 FS260-PRO II SHORTS Endura Bib shorts give you maximum ride comfort and this pair is packed with features. £67.99 www.endura.co.uk 4 RL ROAD SHOES Bontrager Very light, well vented and look great. £129.99 www.bontrager.com

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HELMET Giro Feature £69.99 www.madison.co.uk | SOFTSHELL JACKET Vulpine £160 www.vulpine.cc | CHARGE LR CamelBak £74.99 www.zyro.co.uk | FLUX 88 SHORTS Madison £59 www.madison.co.uk. | AM45 SPD SHOE Shimano £69.99 www.madison.co.uk

L TO R: BG GEL MITT Specialized £26.99 www.specialized.com | ROULEUR MITT Madison £19.99 | FLUX XC GLOVE Madison £19.99 www.madison.co.uk

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Performance cycle wear /

Gear

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11 15

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5 EVOLUTION JERSEY Sugoi Wicking fabric feels great against the skin £49.99 www. cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk 6 PRIMA JACKET Madison Fully waterproof with a mesh lining £59.99 www.madison.co.uk 7 SUPERSTAR SKIRT Pearl Izumi Comes with a detachable Lycra undershort. £49.99 www.madison.co.uk 8 G. EMMA SHOE Gaerne Virtually waterproof with a chunky, gripped sole. £169.95 www.hotlines-uk.com

9 URBAN SHELL JACKET Endura Totally waterproof and packs down really small. £79.99 www.endura.co.uk 10 FLUX ALL MOUNTAIN JERSEY Madison Heavyweight mesh fabric, iPod pocket and glasses wipe. £26.99 www.madison.co.uk 11 SERGEANT SHORTS Fox Relaxed fit and internal liner. £72 www.foxeurope.com 12 AM45 SPD SHOE Shimano Lace covers keep the elements out, very grippy sole. £69.99 www.madison.co.uk

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13 SKYLINE JERSEY Troy Lee Designs Relaxed fit and mesh side panels. £49.99 www.fisheroutdoor. co.uk 14 MUDDY TRACKS JACKET The North Face Waterproof, with reflective detailing. £120 uk.thenorthface.com 15 PATH 3/4 LENGTH SHORTS Madison Quick-drying, hard-wearing and versatile. £39.99 www.madison.co.uk 16 SH-WM43 SHOE Shimano Reinforced sole, SPD-compatible, breathable mesh uppers. £65 www.madison.co.uk

TOP TO BOTTOM: QUINDICI SOFT SOCK Castelli £17 www.saddleback.co.uk | PRO RACING SOCK Compressport £15 www. compressport.uk.com | TUSCAN SOCK Garneau £9.99 www.evanscycles.com

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TOP TO BOTTOM: SELECT GLASSES BBB Comes with three sets of lenses. £59.95 www. windwave.co.uk | 006 ITA GLASSES Salice Features two pairs of interchangeable lenses. £69.95 www.salice.co.uk | JAWBONE Oakley Vented lenses help prevent steaming up. £190 www.uk.oakley.com

ISSUE 01 | ON YOUR BIKE

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The

tish Summer Great Bri of

Britain’s Britain’ No.1 Fruity F ity Malt Loaf Hip hip hooray! What a great year for Great Britain. We hope you enjoy your Sky Ride 2012. Phew! It’s a good job Soreen malt and fruit loaves are bursting with energy to help keep you and your family fuelled up and ready to cycle. Packed full of fruit, they’re delicious, low in fat – and a lot more squidgy than any of those saddles. Celebrate 2012 with a limited edition Union Jack pack or just get stuck in to one of our other great products.

soreen.com

Must-have kit/

Gear

Essentials Before heading out on your many cycling adventures, there are a few other key items you’ll need…

Locks

If you leave your bike where others have access to it, you’re going to need to lock it. This is an area where it’s really worth buying the best equipment you can afford. Good locks are not cheap, but the sturdiest ones will resist anything short of power tools, thus making all but the most determined thief look elsewhere

Abus Granit Xplus £89.99 With its square shackle, hardened steel construction and double lock mechanism, this lock will resist attacks from thieves using conventional tools (boltcroppers, hammers and saws). Comes with a clever bike mounted bracket. www.zyro.co.uk

Computers

Pumps

A decent pump is an essential piece of cycling gear. Keeping your tyres running at the proper pressure is a small but vital aspect of bike maintenance. We recommend carrying a mini pump in your bag while out riding, and keeping a full-size track pump at home LEFT TO RIGHT: Lezyne Tech Drive HP £24.99 This telescopic aluminium mini pump allows you to pump tyres up to 120psi – if you have bulging biceps. The high-pressure barrel aims to have your tyres pumped up with fewer strokes than a regular pump. www.lezyne.com | Dawes Crane £14.99 The Crane is a telescopic mini pump made from a metal alloy. The T-shaped handle allows you to get a good grip making it easier to pump up your tyres. Fully compatible with Presta and Schrader valves. www.dawescycles.com | Zéfal Max FP50 £39.99 This muscular track pump is a solid piece of kit. It will pump up your tyres to 180psi, has a clever sliding switch to switch between valve types and the pressure gauge has a magnified section for extra precision. www.zyro.co.uk

There’s a wide range of cycle computers available. Basic versions display speed and distance travelled, while more advanced GPS enabled models will give you all kinds of stats, as well as route and mapping info

TOP DOWN: Garmin Edge 200 £129.99 Track the time, distance, speed and route of your rides. View your stats on the device itself, or upload your ride to the Garmin Connect website to view in detail and share with others. Battery life is over 14 hours, and the unit is rechargeable. www.garmin.com/uk/edge-series | Cateye Strada Wireless £49.99 This wireless computer may be entry level, but it gives you speed info, distance, ride times and more. It’s easy to set up and use. Patriotic British styling is optional. www.zyro.co.uk

Footwear

While we wouldn’t advise wearing flipflops or sandals, you can ride a bike in most regular footwear. That said, it’s much easier and safer to wear shoes specifically designed for the job. Cycling shoes have stiffer soles and lots have fittings to attach a metal cleat that clips your shoes securely on to your pedals

21

DHB C1.0 Commuter £49.99 This sturdy shoe is ideal for urban cycling, touring or even light off-road use. It can be used with flat or SPDcompatible clip-in pedals. The shoe is made from synthetic leather and has a shock absorbing rubber sole with a sturdy grip pattern. www.wiggle.co.uk

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Gear

\ Must-have kit

Hydration

Cycling can be thirsty work. If you’re cycling for an hour or more, it’s a very good idea to have some fluids with you. A bottle and a bottle cage is ideal for use on the road. Head off-road though and you’ll need something like a CamelBak, which will stay with you over rough terrain LEFT TO RIGHT: CamelBak Charge LR £74.99 Part rucksack, part hydration device, CamelBaks are now an almost essential part of a mountain biker’s kit. This new lightweight model cunningly stores up to two litres in its waistband so it doesn’t slop around on your back. www. zyro.co.uk | Dawes Bottle and Cage Cage £7.49 Bottle £7.49 To keep a drink within easy reach, use a bottle in a cage that fits directly on to your frame. Most bikes come with fittings for two cage mounts. This Dawes cage is made from a lightweight alloy. www.dawescycles.com

Waterproof Jackets

22

We certainly get our fair share of rain here in the UK, so the chances are that sooner or later you’re going to get wet while out on your bike. Fortunately there’s a huge range of bike specific waterproof jackets available to keep the elements out

Lights

TOP DOWN: DHB EQ 2.5 £69.99 This mesh-lined waterproof is Teflon coated, has taped seams and sports cycle specific features. Being longer at the back will help keep spray from reaching your nether regions and there’s a waterproof rear map pocket too. www.wiggle. co.uk | Endura Pakajak £39.99 This ultra-light but fully waterproof jacket packs down into a tiny ball making it ideal to stow away in case of weather emergencies. Comes in a wide range of colours. www.endura.co.uk

LEFT TO RIGHT: | Lezyne Mini Drive LED £49.99 Compact, stylish front light powerful enough to illuminate all but the most dimly lit of urban roads and easily fits into your pocket or bag. Ideal for commuting, it comes with a USB charger so you can recharge at work. www.lezyne.com | Blackburn Flea 2.0 USB £24.99 This tiny LED light will certainly let other road users know you're coming. Recharges in 90 minutes via a USB connection, so you will need a computer to charge it. www.madison.co.uk

Ride a bike after dark and you will need lights – by law. It’s also a good idea to use them in low light conditions, particularly in traffic. You’ll need to decide whether you primarily need lights to see where you’re going, or to increase your visibility to other road users

Tool kits

Whether it be a flat tyre, or a loose handlebar, there’s lots of easily fixable problems that can occur when you’re out on your bike. Easily fixable providing you have the right tools, that is. You won’t want to carry a set of spanners with you, so that is where bike specific multi tools come in TOP DOWN: Lezyne Lever Puncture Repair Kit £6.99 Coming in a CNC machined alloy case, this must be the world’s coolest puncture repair kit. Comes with self-sealing patches, tyre repair boot and tyre levers. www.lezyne.com | Lezyne Medium Caddy Loaded £34.99 This pack clips neatly under your seat and comes with a Rap 13-piece multi tool, tyre levers and a Smart Patch puncture repair kit. There’s room to pack a spare inner tube, or energy foods too. www.lezyne.com

Checklist Don’t leave

home without… Mini pump Puncture repair kit Spare inner tube Set of mini lights Multi tool

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< find a dealer

International distributors and retailers sought. Email contact@ridgeback.co.uk

Around town

Built for commuting, a Ridgeback Rapide offers the perfect combination of speed, comfort and practicality. Adaptable and stylish with the durability needed for everyday use. Motion £269.99 Velocity £399.99

Speed £299.99 Meteor £399.99

Comet £329.99 Momentum £449.99

Element £599.99

ridgeback.co.uk

Gear

\ Head cases

Lid life Only use mild detergent/ soap and water to clean your helmet. Store it in a dry, well ventilated place when not in use and avoid heat sources

Helmets Not compulsory – except for racing – but a goodfitting helmet can help protect your head

8

years A well-looked-after helmet should last this long

 ABUS URBAN I £59.99

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This award-winning helmet has 21 vents for very efficient cooling, reflective strips for safety, an insect mesh and a rear LED light. Great for city riding. www.zyro.co.uk

 

RALEIGH EXTREME III £25.99

A bargain lid with 22 vents, this shows that you don’t need to spend a fortune to protect your noggin. www.raleigh.co.uk

 LIMAR X RIDE £59.99

This great value one-size-fits-all lid has a deep rear section, and a very effective retention system that results in a light and comfortable ride. www.todayscyclist.co.uk

 GIRO REVERB £49.99

Giro’s distinctly retro-looking helmet has a fabric peak that is attached using Velcro, nine vents and is available in 11 different colours. www.madison.co.uk

 CANNONDALE TERAMO £69.99

Cannondale’s ponytail-friendly helmet weighs a very impressive 245g, has 23 large vents and we like the fact that it comes with a shoulder bag too. www.cannondale.com

 BELL MUNI £59.99

This features an insect mesh, rear flashing lights, fittings for extra front and rear lights, it weighs just 275g and it’s also available in hi-vis green. www.madison.co.uk

CAMALEONTE  MET EXECUTIVE £49.99

Reasonably cooling in spite of only having small vents, this urban-specific lid has a small peak, reflective highlights and a push-operated rear light. www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk

 SPECIALIZED S3 £110

This super-light women’s lid comes with the arguably more stringent US certification standard, while Kevlar reinforcing allows for huge cooling vents. www.specialized.com

CYCLE KNOW-HOW Make sure your helmet is a perfect fit and always do up the straps

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urban evolution the fold

Big bike handling, small bike fold

A kansi rides better than other folding bicycles. It also folds quicker and easier than any other bike, plus it looks great too.

kansi.co.uk

kansibikes

@kansiUK

\ Buy your perfect bike

ILLUSTRATION: ROBERT M BALL | THE ARTWORKS

Cycle Know-how

Buying a bike Stumped by the vast range of bike options? Here’s how to get the right bike for your needs

26

T

he bike boom of the last few years has meant that there’s more choice than ever in your local bike shops, and more other places selling bikes too. Let us guide you through buying the right bike.

Set your goals

Different bikes are intended for different types of riding and some are very specific. However, most bikes are pretty versatile – you can ride to work, to the shops and round the hills on the same bike.

One of the most common aims is simply to ride to work, opting for the bike’s traffic-nippiness and freedom. People commute on a range of bikes, but experienced commuters go for ‘tourers’ – drop-handlebar bikes with mudguards, racks and tyres that are a bit fatter than the very narrow ones favoured by racers. Many bike commuters prefer flat handlebar hybrids. Bikes with the same large, fast-rolling wheels but with bars and controls more akin to those found on mountain bikes.

Blinging The Aurumania Crystal Edition bike is made with over 600 Swarovski crystals adorning a gold plated frame. A snip at £65,000

If your goals are sportier, then you should look at road racing or sportive bikes. Both have drop bars for a variety of hand positions and aerodynamics, but a sportive bike will have a more upright riding position and a wider gear range. If you want to head out into the trails, then a mountain bike is the way to go. You need an upright, wide position for control, fat tyres with lots of grip, a big range of gears, and powerful brakes. If you’re planning ‘mixed-mode’ trips involving your car or a train, then a folding bike may be perfect –

Bikes are versatile – you can ride to work, to the shops and round the hills on the same bike

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Buy your perfect bike /

nothing beats their convenience or ease of parking. Younger riders will need specific children’s bikes. In short: it’s worth buying quality if you can. Cheap kids’ bikes tend to be very heavy and poorly made. If you spend a bit more your child gets a lighter bike that will also hold its resale value.

Set your budget

Real bikes cost from around £300 or so. Bikes costing less are almost always poor quality. A £300 bike will be fairly light, so it’s easy to load into the car or get up stairs; it will have brakes and gears that work and its wheels will be straight. Most importantly, it will be durable. You should expect to wheel a bike out of the shop fully assembled and ready to ride. Cheap bikes often have to be assembled by the buyer. This requires a level of knowledge that programmes such as Watchdog have found is beyond most people. You’ll find good bikes in specialist bike shops. Steer clear of supermarkets, and other general stores.

ALTERNATIVES: SECOND-HAND AND INTERNET SHOPS Many of the best deals available on bikes new and old are to be found on the internet. Now that purchasing online is done with barely a flicker of concern, you should be able to find plenty of good deals that could save you money while helping to keep the parcel delivery industry afloat. Be sure to set aside some additional cash to give your bike a service during the first month though. Unlike purchases

made at your local bike shop, you won’t able to send a web-bought bike back for its first service. Consequently, any problems or tweaks will have to be dealt with at your local shop. You may feel that you have missed out on the personal touch if you buy online. If you don’t have an expert friend to offer advice, or you’re unsure of what you want, you could be better off with a bricks-and-mortar bike shop. If you’re looking at buying your bike second-hand, it’s best to do so in a situation where you can wheel the bike over to a shop for a professional assessment before parting with your cash.

This takes practice, but provides a unique feeling of being connected to the machine.

Get the right size

Choose your gears

Modern bikes can have up to 30 gears. The idea is to provide a wide range so that you can ride up or down anything comfortably. If you’ll only be riding on flat roads you don’t need a mountain bike’s super-low gears, but if you have to tackle hills you can’t have too low a gear. Most gear systems use derailleurs – mechanisms that move the chain around the sprockets. Hub gears – offering from 3 to 14 gears – are enjoying a comeback on practical bikes. Operated by a handlebar control, they’re heavier than derailleurs, but clean and easy to use. Some riders ride singlespeeds – bikes with just one gear. These are great in flat areas, and off-road versions provide a challenge for experienced mountain bikers. The ultimate super-simple urban bike is the fixed-gear bike. This is a singlespeed with no freewheel: if the bike is moving you have to pedal.

Cycle Know-how

Above: Ensure you get the right bike for your riding Right: It’s true for bikes too – size really does matter

Bikes come in different frame sizes to match your leg length. Bike size is quoted as the length of the seat-tube (the frame part where the saddle is mounted) or in sizes from small to large. Getting the size right is crucial. A bike that’s too large will be ungainly and possibly unsafe; too small and you won’t be able to get the saddle high enough for comfortable pedalling. You should be able to stand over the frame of with your feet flat on the floor and a few centimetres’ clearance between your body and the bike. You need more clearance if you’ve chosen a mountain bike and you’re going to ride it off road. You should be able to raise the saddle so you have a comfortable reach to the pedals with your knee just shy of straight when the pedal is at the bottom. The tube supporting the saddle will have a mark to indicate its maximum safe extension. Frame size doesn’t just indicate how tall the bike is. As frames get bigger, they also get longer, so if a bike is the wrong size, the reach to the bars will be too short or too long. It’s tempting to go for a small mountain bike frame to maximise clearance, but this proportionality means you may find a small bike is too short and the bars too low.

A bike that is too large will be ungainly and possibly unsafe Suspension question

Mountain bikes intended for off-road use have shock-absorbing systems. Bikes with suspension forks are known as hardtails, while bikes with front and rear suspension are called full or dual suspension bikes. Some cheaper mountain bikes and hybrids also have suspension forks. Unfortunately, inexpensive suspension systems add weight and complexity, so it’s best to steer clear of them unless you’re spending over £500 or so.

Take a test ride

There’s no substitute for a spin round the block to get a feel for the fit and handling of your potential new bike. Expect to leave security with the shop: a credit card, other proof of identity or the bike’s value in cash. 27

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New bike round-up /

Bikes

CARBONROADBIKE

Boardman Team Carbon | £1299 This widely available bike is one of the cheapest carbon road bikes you can buy – and has a carbon seatpost for extra comfort. It’s exceptionally light, incredibly quick, stiff in all the right places and good enough for your first race. Great handling, decent wheels and high quality Shimano and FSA components complete an impressive package. www.halfords.com SPEC | WEIGHT 8.25kg FRAME T700 carbon fibre, all-carbon fork

Saracen Urban X1 | £369 CITYSLICKER

The British company Saracen describes its Urban X1 – a new UK-designed bike for 2012 – as a “fast rolling urban bike with the addition of front suspension”. The combination of female-specific saddle, large diameter 700C wheels, chunky tyres and front suspension should make for a plush ride, while the three chainrings and 8-speed rear derailleur provide an impressively wide range of gears – high enough for a good speed on the flat, low enough for when the going gets hilly. V-brakes will make for safe stopping on the descents. Shimano supplies most of the kit, Suntour the suspension fork. There’s a men’s version of the X1 without the step-through frame, while the £459 X2 has the same gearing but hydraulic disc brakes. www.saracen.co.uk

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SPEC | WEIGHT 14.6kg FRAME 6061 aluminium, Suntour 75mm travel fork

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Bikes

\ New bike round-up

FAST FLAT BAR

Ridgeback Flight 02 | £749.99 Wide-ranging gears make the Flight 02 a practical bike for varied riding conditions, the wide 28mm tyres keep things comfy while Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes are not only great stoppers in all conditions – but disc brakes ensure longer wheel life too. This is great if you’re racking up lots of stop-start urban commuting miles. The Flight 02 also has a carbon fork, which will be appreciably more comfortable than aluminium. www.ridgeback.co.uk

ELECTRA TOWNIE 7D | £459 Available in women’s and men’s models, the Townie is a practical, er, town bike. It’s got seven gears, balloon tyres for comfort and a kickstand so it won’t fall over. www.electrabikes.co.uk

SPEC | WEIGHT 10.9kg FRAME 6061 heat treated aluminium, carbon fork

RALEIGH FLYER | £250 This great value steel-framed machine can be run fixed or with a freewheel – just flip the rear wheel. Wide tyres are comfortable, the riding position ideal for city streets. www.raleigh.co.uk

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GENESIS EQUILIBRIUM | £1299 The 20 is the dearest and best equipped of the three Equilibrium bikes. It has a high-end Reynolds steel frame, carbon fork and quality Shimano 105 components. www.genesisbikes.co.uk

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Bikes

\ New bicycle round-up

CHARGE MIXER | £1199 Flat bar-fun from Somerset’s Charge Bikes. This has Shimano’s 11-speed hub gears, mudguards and hydraulic disc brakes. A top-notch city bike. www.chargebikes.com

FUJI FEATHER | £549 Stylish steel-framed singlespeed designed for the hustle and bustle of the urban environment. Stripped-down set-up minimises potential mechanical gremlins. www.evanscycles.com

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ELECTRA AMSTERDAM | £559 Classic continental elegance, full-length mudguards, 3-speed gears, a sprung saddle and a city-friendly sit-up-and-beg riding position. www.electrabikes.co.uk

HIGH-ENDOFF-ROADER

Specialized Camber Expert | £2000 Specialized didn’t get to be one of the biggest bike companies in the world without making very good bikes – whether for the road or trail. Its 2012 Camber Expert costs two grand but the quality of the ride that it offers and of the kit that adorns it make this a hugely entertaining trail bike that represents pretty good value. The RockShox front fork offers 120mm of trail, while the Fox rear shock has three compression levels. Specialized’s own Ground Control tyres have ample grip. The Camber’s long front and short rear make it easy to manual and drop off ledges, with a playful

feel that you can’t help but enjoy. Its low ride height helps when you’re railing through sweepers and berms too. Aggressive corner-takers will want to use the ProPedal damping for a more solid carving edge. It has a larger diameter – thus stiffer and more efficient – bottom bracket than the 2011 Camber. The overall weight is very impressive for the money – helped by a set of quality lightweight wheels – and this trail-happy bike looks the part too. www.specialized.com SPEC | WEIGHT 12.2kg FRAME M5 aluminium with Fox Triad shock, Rock Shox 120mm travel fork

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New bike round-up /

Bikes

FANTASTICFOLDER

Kansi 1 Twenty | £525 The new-kid-on-the-foldingblock Kansi has created one of the easiest folding bikes available. There are two hinges – one in the middle of the frame, the other at the front. To open them, press in the locking button and pull open the lever of the hinge. And that’s it. Unfolding is even easier, the hinges overcentring themselves and locking into place without you having to touch them. But where the Kansi really scores is its ride quality – it rides like a non-folding bike. There’s no mushiness, just all-round good performance and handling, plus a coaster (back-pedal) brake. This is a singlespeed, but there’s also a 3-speed hub gear model for £699.99 and a 9-speed derailleur model for £849. www.kansi.co.uk SPEC | WEIGHT 10.4kg FRAME 6061 aluminium

SPECIALIZED MYKA ELITE | £600 Quality entry-level bike borrows from Specialized’s suspension bike technology to create extra standover height. A very capable and goodlooking trail machine. www.specialized.com

BOARDMAN PERFORMANCE HYBRID PRO | £999 With its top-notch kit it’s hard to fault the Pro’s balance of speed and comfort. Quick and responsive, it’s a flat-bar favourite that’s ideal for commuting or training. www.halfords.com

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SCOTT SCALE 60 | £999 Well-specced aluminium hardtail mountain bike with RockShox front forks, hydraulic disc brakes and excellent kit from Shimano, Ritchey and Schwalbe. www.scott-sports.com

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Ride Guide

\ Cycle routes and maps

ROUTE

Birmingham Sutton Park

Leisure centre and miniature golf course

Get a sense of wilderness within an urban area at Sutton Park

DIRECTIONS

Sutton Park is a National Nature reserve and is ideal for new riders wanting to get off the roads, and delivers a sense of wilderness within an urban environment. This medieval hunting park has a wide network of paths throughout its 2,400 acres, providing a range of leisure activities, refreshments, play area and cycle paths. There are cattle grazing (to the south) and Exmoor ponies (to the north). Toilets are found at Town Gate entrance, Visitor Centre and Banners Gate.

3

How to get there

Jubilee Gardens

Anchorsholme Park

Sutton Visitor Centre is six miles north of Birmingham city centre. The route starts at the Visitor Centre (tel 0121 355 6370) near the main Town Gate entrance of the park, 0.5km northwest of Sutton Coldfield centre, 6.5km north of junction 5 off the M6.

Would you believe it?

Jamboree Memorial Stone

Begin by the North Pier and head north (sea on your left), past the Cenotaph. Whenever possible keep to the off-road cycle paths, enabling you to cycle safely without the worry of traffic. 2 Pass Gynn Square and continue past the 3 Jubilee Gardens, looking out for Red Bank Road if you require refreshments. After passing the Marine Hall and then the YMCA Leisure Centre the route comes to a natural end when it meets the Esplanade road again.

Red Bank Road

Birmingham has 35miles (56km) of canals within the city, which is more than Venice Keeper’s Pool 2

Gynn Square

4

5

Start/Finish Visitor centre

Blackpool North Pier to Fleetwood

2

34

ROUTE

DIRECTIONS

Distance: 3 miles Time: 45 minutes Notes: Gates to Sutton Park open at 9am throughout the year. Closing times vary in line with dusk (ranging from 5pm in the winter to 10pm in the summer). Requires a bike suitable for riding off-road

With the visitor centre on your left, at Palace Hill, take lefthand fork, then keep on the right-hand path. See a ford and Wyndley Pool on your left and continue straight ahead through Hollyhurst. 2 At the fork go sharp right, then left at fork, up to a crossroads and turn left. At the

North Pier

junction by Flying Field turn right and follow the path. 3 Continue along the path, gently climbing to the Jamboree Memorial Stone, turning right here. 4 Now gently cycle downhill past Keeper’s Pool on your left. 5 Go through a metal gate and follow the path back towards the Visitor Centre.

Start from the North Pier and keep the sea on your left…

A seaside escape with all the fun of the fair

Location Details

This very pleasant, mostly traffic-free ride heads north along the seafront, starting by the North Pier, near the Blackpool Tower and Aquarium. Along the way, not only will you experience wonderful views, but you are also close to Jubilee Gardens, public art, pitch and putt courses and a swimming centre at the end to cool down in.

How to get there

Parking is available off West Street (take care, though, if you’ve got a larger vehicle, as there is a 6ft 6in height restriction in operation), just inland from the North Pier, postcode FY1 1HA. Alternatively you can cycle along the NCN.62 route towards Blackpool Tower on the coast, which is by the North Pier.

BIRMINGHAM PHOTO: BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL. BLACKPOOL PHOTO: SUSTRANS. BOLTON PHOTO: BOLTON COUNCIL. EDINBURGH PHOTO: SUSTRANS.

Location Details

3

Distance: 8.7miles Time: 1.5 hrs each way. Notes: Suitable for all abilities. Hire bikes from many locations, offered by Hourbike

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Cycle routes and maps /

Ride Guide ROUTE

Bolton Irwell Sculpture Trail

Distance: 6.2miles each way Time: 1 hr each way. Notes: Suitable for most bikes and young children

Shops at end of ride

DIRECTIONS

The Great Green Divide – 10km of traffic-free cycling along the Irwell Sculpture Trail

The trail largely follows the NCN 6 route which is well signposted and easy to navigate – in both directions. Heading south will take you into Manchester city centre. Heading north, as we do, takes you towards Bury, 10km along a traffic-free trail. 1km into the ride join tarmac for 200m then left at bottom of Buckley Lane, then right after 100m to re-join the off-road track. 2 Cross the M60 via a footbridge and continue along the old East Lancashire Railway, eventually crossing a large, traffic-free bridge to the end of this route, with retail park ahead for refreshments, before retracing your tyre tracks, to the start.

Location Details

The Irwell Trail largely uses the old East Lancashire Railway line, providing an excellent, traffic-free trail, which links a host of cultural attractions from art galleries and museums to the East Lancashire Railway. It is the largest trail of its kind in the UK, stretching 53km (33m) from Salford Quays in Manchester to Bacup, with over 70 pieces of art from renowned local, national and international artists along the way. Note: You cannot cycle all of the Trail.

2

How to get there

Parking is available on the A667 road between Kearsley and Whitefield, or you can ride out from Moses Gate Country Park, along the Greater Manchester Cycle Route.

ROUTE Distance: 6.2miles Time: 1 hr each way. Notes: Mostly downhill outbound and uphill coming back

DIRECTIONS Start by following the road around Holyrood Park, anti-clockwise. 2 Turn right at the roundabout, and right at the next roundabout, then right on into East Parkside, then first right and immediately right again on a driveway, down to the Innocent Railway tunnel – slightly downhill and dark!

3 Pass Duddingston Loch, following NCN.1 signposts, east, along a tree-lined path and then cycle track beside the Niddrie Burn. 4 There are steps over the railway bridge by Brunstane Station or a track and road round the back of the superstore to avoid them. Cross Brunstane Road, onto Diaches Braes, keeping ahead, off-road along the Brunstane Burn path, to the coast. Retrace your steps, but turn 5 right in Holyrood Park, at the 2nd roundabout, on Queen’s Drive road, back to the car park.

Stone me! You won’t be able to miss some of the art on the Trail

Holyrood Park Engine Shed Café 2

P

Brunstane Train station

5

4

Innocent Railway tunnel 3

Edinburgh Innocent Railway Escape from the heart of the city with a ride through Holyrood Park and along the Innocent Railway

Location Details

In the centre of the windswept Holyrood Park, visible from around the city, is Arthur’s Seat, a hill over 800ft high. There are things to do and see around this Royal Park, including Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh’s royal residence, and the Royal Commonwealth Pool is just down the road from the park entrance.

You won’t need the sunnies in the 320metre long tunnel

Find your local ride at www.goskyride.com

OYB01.ride_guide.indd 35

P

35

How to get there

There are several places that you can begin the ride. You can start from the car park on the east side of Holyrood Park near Dunsapie Loch, Queen’s Road. Alternatively you can start from St Leonard’s Bank, Newington, near the Royal Commonwealth Pool (www. thecommiepool.co.uk), southwest of the park.

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Ride Guide

\ Cycle routes and maps

Hull to Hornsea

Cycle to the coast, along a beautiful and traffic-free disused railway line

3 2

Burrell Collection

Location Details

Once you leave Hull, the route is along very quiet and peaceful trails, enabling you to get away from everything. At the end, Hornsea Mere, the largest freshwater lake in Yorkshire offers a beautiful and relaxing place to finish – or there’s the bustle of the beach and cafés available on the coast and a bracing dip in the sea for the brave…

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P Pollok House

How to get there

Start from Dansom Lane, off Clarence Street/Holderness Road (the A165), just east of Hull city centre and the bridge over the River Hull (grid reference 108/300) or halfway along the route at the picnic spot on the A165 just south of Skirlaugh. The end is by Hornsea police station (grid ref 206/475).

Train station

Glasgow Pollok Park Mountain bike trails for all in the heart of the city

Get away from the city with a quiet ride to the seaside

ROUTE

The Park is Glasgow’s only country park, which was part of the Old Pollok Estate and ancestral home of the Maxwell family, Pollok House. The park provides extensive woodlands and gardens for a quiet sanctuary for both visitors and wildlife and is also home the world famous Burrell Collection of art.

How to get there

The park is located in the southwest of the city just three miles from the city centre. It can be reached by bike via National Cycle Routes 7 and 75. Alternatively, you can take your bike on the train to Pollokshaws West station on the Glasgow Central to Barrhead and East Kilbride lines, and the park is within 5 minutes ride of Shawlands and Pollokshaws East stations on the Cathcart Circle line. The main access to the park is via the Pollokshaws Road entrance. Pedestrian access is also available from Dumbreck Road and from the Glasgow to Irvine Cycle Way from Corkerhill. 36

The three different circuits offer varying levels of difficulty

There are three circuits for riders of different skill levels. Time: 30 minutes

DIRECTIONS 1 Green: 0.3 miles The Green Circuit provides an introduction to mountain biking, fine for beginners and children, with a gentle ride in the woods. 2 Blue: 6.2 miles The Blue Circuit uses hillier terrain and varied surfaces, and the chance to get your wheels off the ground if you so wish. 3 Red: 0.9 miles The Red Circuit provides the more challenging, rougher terrain, singletrack and obstacles, for more advanced riders. There are also some Black graded sections which you can opt to do, or you can just stick to the main trail.

Long rider The Humber Bridge is the largest single-span bridge in the world that you can walk and cycle across 3

ROUTE Distance: 13 miles Time: 1-2 hours each way.

DIRECTIONS Start Dansom Lane The trail is very easy to follow once you are on it, and is well signposted, along a traffic-free trail, although there are some road crossings along the way. 3 The Railway Inn near the old station in Ellerby provides a good refreshment stop. Hornsea offers plenty of refreshments, and you can include a dip in the North Sea at the end of your journey. 2

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GLASGOW PHOTO: GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL. HULL PHOTO: HULL CITY COUNCIL.

Location Details

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Ride Guide

\ Cycle routes and maps

It’s not Alton Towers but there are plenty of rides to enjoy

The White Horse pub

Ipswich Alton Water A circuit around the big reservoir will

Location Details

ROUTE Distance: 8 miles Time: 1-2 hours each way. Notes: Please note that cyclists cannot ride on the track north of Lemons Hill Bridge. Follow the track all the way around, back to the start. Hilly in places and during the winter can also be muddy

Bird Hide

Viewpoint

Bird Hide

Viewpoint Dam

Go wild! Wildlife includes kingfishers, skylarks, linnets, wildfowl, barn owls, snakes, voles, shrews and er, snails

DIRECTIONS Start at Alton Water Visitor Centre. The track for pedestrians and cyclists goes around the reservoir – it’s signed and very easy to follow.

Visitor Centre

Leicester Watermead

There is lots of wildlife especially in the winter, and new conservation zones and bird hides have been built to view it from. You may catch sight of a kingfisher if you’re lucky, and this summer an osprey even put in an appearance at Alton Water. Water sports such as windsurfing and sailing are on offer, and there is a café at the visitor centre.

How to get there

Stutton car park, off the B1080 at Alton Water Park, between Stutton and Holbrook, is close to all the area’s attractions and facilities. Parking costs £3 per day at peak times and just £2 per day off-peak. You can buy an annual car parking permit for £35 from the café.

ROUTE Hope & Anchor pub P

Distance: 4.6 miles Time: 1-1.5 hours Notes: Very little climbing Suitable for all abilities

P

It’s a child-friendly route but watch out for stray mammoths

Location Details

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The southernmost of the Park’s dozen lakes has a large statue of a mammoth beside it, built to commemorate the discovery of ice-age mammoth remains found when Watermead was a quarry. There is also a Dinosaur Play Trail around King Lear’s Lake, featuring a rib-cage climbing frame and more for children to explore. A twostorey hide has been built for bird-watching.

How to get there

Just 5 miles north of Leicester city centre, and is easy to find with the brown tourist signs leading you to either the north (off the A46) or south (off the A607) entrances and car parks. You can also cycle there along the NCN.6 route, following the River Soar.

P 2

Marina 4

P

DIRECTIONS You can cycle as much or as little of the trails as you like. We’ve started this route from the southern (Melton Avenue) car park, headed over to the lakeside and followed the track around, joining with NCN.6. 2 The next section circles King Lear’s Lake and returns on the other side 3 with an optional leg northwards, to the northern car parks and park entrance and the Hope & Anchor pub on Wanlip Road. 4 Return to the first lake via the NCN.6 route and pass around the other side of the lake, to return to the car park/start.

IPSWICH PHOTO: ALTON CYCLE HIRE. LEICESTER PHOTO: SUSTRANS.

Traffic-free lakeside riding

3

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 01

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Ride Guide

\ Cycle routes and maps

Milton Keynes Willen Lake

On track

Enjoy a city ride along miles of trafficfree, tree-lined tracks

Location Details

The National Cycle Centre is home to an Olympic Velodrome. A huge new BMX centre opens in 2012

P Sale Water Park 5

Model Aircraft area Visitor Centre

There is a café, playgrounds and Gulliver’s Land Theme Park at the start, and Campbell park, to the west, is a lovely park to relax in with plenty of shops just beyond. The northern Willen Lake is peaceful with wildfowl, a Peace Pagoda temple, labyrinth and old village, while the southern lake is the main watersports area. The southern side also has an Aerial Extreme ropes course.

P Pub (Jackson’s 2 Boat Inn) Chorlton Water Park

How to get there

You can cycle to the start, along the NCN route numbers 6 and 51, which also form part of this ride. Alternatively there is parking by Willen Lake. From the M1, exit at junction14, go south on the A509, right at the first roundabout then left at the 2nd roundabout – the car park is on the left.

Park

Within a few miles of Manchester and not a vehicle in sight P

2

Siemens House Gulliver’s Theme Park

Café & Playground

P

Bridge 81b

3

Café

X-Tracks

5

Shops

4

Allotments Ouzel Valley

ROUTE

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Distance: 2.8 miles around the lakes, or 4.6 miles with the southern loop Time: 1 and 2 hours respectively. Notes: There is very little climbing involved on either route.

DIRECTIONS Head down towards the lake and follow the track around to the

left-hand side, bearing left under the road by Siemens House to the northern lake and through the park. 2 The Nipponzan Myohoji (Japanese temple) is on the left as you enter here. 3 Continue past the bandstand and follow the lake around to the right, and back around the southern lake to the start. 4 Alternatively, go ahead at the X-tracks

Ford Lane

Palatine Road

(signed Ouzel Valley), under the road and turn right, alongside the River. Just after the allotments, turn right and keep ahead to the canal and turn right alongside this. Follow this until bridge 81b and turn right, following signs for Willen Lake. 5 Alternatively, here, turn left to go to Campbell Park and/or the shopping centre just beyond the park.

Manchester Mersey Valley A circular Merseyside meander along the Trans Pennine Trail

Location Details

Jackson’s Boat Inn, at the start, has food and drink and a play area for children (www.jacksonsboat.co.uk). Along the route, Sale and Chorlton Water Parks, formed in the 1970s when gravel extracted was used for the motorway, now provide a habitat for wildlife, flora and fauna, as well as fishing and sailing. Birdlife includes teal, buzzards, kestrels, lapwings, herons, jays and more.

How to get there

Start from the Mersey Valley Visitor Centre in Sale Water Park just off the M60 at junction 6. Alternatively, start from Simon’s Bridge at the opposite end of the ride, where there is a carpark, or East Didsbury train station which is just 1.5km east.

ROUTE Distance: 8.7miles and northern loop adds 1.3 miles. Time: 1-2 hours Notes: Neither route has much climbing at all.

DIRECTIONS Turn left out the car park on Rifle Road Pass over Jackson’s Bridge, turn right alongside the River Mersey to Chorlton Water Park and bear around to the left of this along the cycle route. Continue along the cycle route, beside the River Mersey again, and follow the cycle route crossing the M60. 2 Continue on the cycle route parallel to the motorway

3 Crossing Palatine Road, along the one-way system, follow the TPT signs. Pass Northenden Weir and join Mill Lane then Boat Lane, then left of Ford Lane, passing underneath the M60 motorway. 4 Cross the river on Simon’s Bridge and turn left, following the riverside track as it meanders back to Chorlton Water Park. Keep ahead and return along the same track as before, turning left over Jackson’s Bridge, back to the car park. 5 Alternatively, there is an additional loop from Jackson’s Bridge, around Chorlton Ees.

MANCHESTER PHOTO: STEVE ALAND/MARKETING MANCHESTER.

Nipponzan Myohoji

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Cycle Know-how

\ Bike food

Ride longer

There’s a vast array of sports nutrition products out there – we round up the best on the market

Stay hydrated

Whatever you drink while riding, it’s essential that you take on lots of fluids. Look to drink 500-750ml per hour

ENERGY BARS An energy bar is like a cereal bar or flapjack. However, they tend to be made of simpler sugars so that they can be easily digested. They can also stave off hunger pangs. 1 SIS GO ENERGY BAR Inside the hi-tech style packaging is a wholesome tasting bar with lots of fruity bits. Sweet, moist and sticky. 2 HONEY STINGER Contains over 30% honey, plus 22 vitamins and minerals. A much less gooey bar than you would think. 3 HIGH 5 ENERGY BAR The most sugar of any bar on our test. Tastes more like a cake than a cereal bar. Very sweet and moist. 4 MAXIFUEL VIPER BOOST Coated in dark chocolate, this bars contains 139 mg of caffeine and amino acids. Less

sweet than most, with a real stimulant kick. 5 GET BUZZING Full of natural ingredients, this tasted more like a regular flapjack. Sweet, crunchy and nutty. 6 MAXIFUEL VIPER ACTIVE Packed with oats, this bar keeps hunger at bay. With real fruit, it’s part of your five-a-day! Dry, crunchy and sweet. 7 HIGH 5 4:1 ADVANCED TRAINING BAR Contains a 4:1 ratio of carb and protein, which aims to give you more muscle power. Tastes quite like Christmas cake.

Protein power

Certain energy products contain proteins as well as carbs. Studies indicate that a carb/protein mix aids performance

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ENERGY GELS ENERGY DRINKS An energy drink will provide you not only with the simple sugars that will help keep you going during exercise, but water too. They will quite often also contain electrolytes, which will help your body retain the fluid you are taking in during exercise.

Gels provide a hit of digestible carbs and nutrients. You’ll feel the benefits more quickly than a bar and they’ll help rehydrate you. 1 SIS GO ISOTONIC ENERGY Being isotonic, this gel contains similar proportions of sugar and salt to those naturally occurring in the body. 2 MAXIFUEL VIPER ACTIVE A blend of four different types of sugar. Also contains electrolytes. 3 HIGH 5 ENERGY GEL+ Contains real fruit juice, salts, carbs and caffeine to give you a turbo

boost. 4 CNP PRO ENERGY MAX Packed with carbs, caffeine, guarana and electrolytes. The only gel on test that doesn’t contain sugar. 5 GU ENERGY GEL Made from real dark chocolate. Also contains caffeine, vitamins and calcium. 6 ACCEL GEL This milk-based gel has the most sugars in our test. It’s also the only one to contain protein.

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 01

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Cycle Know-how

\ Fix that flat

Mending a puncture If you ride a bike, occasional punctures are a fact of life. Fortunately, fixing them is a relatively quick and simple affair

Removing the tube

Let the air out and push the valve into the tyre. On the side opposite the valve, slip a tyre lever under the bead and another 5cm away. Pull the nearer one towards you, lifting the bead over the edge. Continue until one bead is free. Pull tube out and remove tyre.

Patching the tube

Apply a second thin layer of glue. Allow to dry – the glue will turn matt. Inflate slightly to highlight the hole. Press patch into place after removing foil (cellophane can be left on). Dust with chalk/talc/road dust to prevent it sticking to tyre.

44

Inflating the tube

Inflate the tube and listen for air. Passing the surface of the tube over the lips may help. If you still can’t find the hole, re-inflate and pass the tube through a bowl of water until you spot bubbles. Dry the tube before step 3.

Checking the casing

Before refitting the tube, check the tyre from inside for the cause of your puncture. Placing the tube over the tyre will help you find the puncture’s position. Run fingertips carefully around the inside of the tyre to feel for the cause of the puncture and remove.

Making final checks

Check that the tube is not trapped. Inflate to where the tyre feels soft but has kept its shape. Check that its moulding mark follows the rim evenly. If not, deflate a little and ease any high spots down and pull low spots up. Inflate and check bead is still seated evenly. Finally, check that the tread is running straight. If not, deflate and start again from the beginning of this step.

You will need :

Puncture rep a Plastic tyre le ir kit ve Bowl of water rs Ballpoint pen

Preparing the tube

Select the correct sized patch – bigger rather than smaller if in doubt. Roughen the area around the hole with emery paper, flattening any moulding marks. Apply one drop of glue and spread thinly with your finger around the hole. Allow to touch dry.

Refitting the tyre

Refit one bead to the rim. Slightly inflate and refit to the rim, valve in first. Starting opposite the valve, use your thumbs to lift the bead over rim. When one small section is left, push valve into tyre and ease remaining bead over rim.

Which valve? Inner-tubes have one of two valves – Schrader or Presta. A Schrader is the same as on a car tyre, a Presta is thinner and the threaded tip must be loosened before you pump air.

Presta

Schrader

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 01

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Cycle Know-how

\ Go further

Where else to go

Our pick of the best organisations, websites and magazines to help expand your knowledge and love of cycling

ORGANISATIONS British Cycling

The National Governing Body for cycling in the UK, its main aim is to get all of us cycling! www.britishcycling.org.uk Through its sponsorship of British Cycling and its racing team, Sky has made a huge commitment to cycling. At the grass roots, this shows up as Sky Rides – which you know all about! Last year over 200,000 WEBSITES Competitive cycling took part and they events take place in the UK each year are even bigger this www. year. Sky Ride Locals are cycletraining.co.uk a great intro to cycling. Information for newbies on www.goskyride.com training as well as helpful advice on cycle maintenance.

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CTC

CTC has been standing up for cyclists’ rights since 1878. Now boasts 70,000 members. Members can use their Helpline, join local groups and participate in local and national events and more. www.ctc.org.uk

Sustrans

A charity that aims to promote sustainable transport. In 2000 Sustrans set up the National Cycle Network, currently standing at 10,000 miles. www.sustrans.org.uk

London Cycling Campaign Set up in 1978 to lobby for London cyclists. Members receive free third party insurance, legal advice, theft insurance, a magazine and a 15% discount in 120 bike shops. www.lcc.org.uk

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Audax UK

Oversees the organisation of the non-competitive rides known as brevets or randonees where riders try to complete the distance within a certain time. www.aukweb.net

www.bikeradar.com

With sections on every type of cycling, this is a great all-in-one site which is as friendly to beginners as it is to pro cyclists.

www.bike-events.com

A Sky Ride could be the first step into making cycling part of your life.

MAGAZINES Cycling Plus

Cycling Plus is packed with expert reviews of the latest road bikes and gear, routes and rides from the UK and around the world, features that take you inside every aspect of cycling and nutrition, training advice to help you get the best from yourself and your bike. www.cyclingplus.co.uk

Procycling

www.cyclingnews.com

The number one website for professional cycling race results, info, interviews and news.

Procycling brings you the colour, action and drama of the world’s most spectacular sport in a glossy magazine. With exclusive features and photos, Procycling brings to life the complexities, rivalries and hardships of professional cycling. www.procycling.com

www.cycle-route.com

Mountain Biking UK

Extensive list of upcoming organised cycling events.

A handy database of all the tried-and-tested cycle routes in the world. Ideal for planning a cycling holiday, or a local weekend.

www.cycle-n-sleep.co.uk A site for those planning longdistance UK cycle rides. There are even details about cycle-friendly accommodation along the way.

www.dft.gov.uk/ bikeability

A perfect way to introduce your child to the joys of cycling.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Sky

MBUK concentrates on mountain biking in all its aspects. It has all the news about the latest kit and exclusive info on the newest and best bikes. It’s not just for the MTB hardcore as the mag aims to get newcomers up and riding. www.mbuk.com

What Mountain Bike

What Mountain Bike is for all cross-country and trail riders. It shows readers what to ride, where to ride and how to ride. www.whatmountainbike.com

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 01

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